June 16, 2010, Atlanta, GA ... The Anti-Defamation League today commended the Savannah police and Federal authorities for investigating whether the assault of a 26-year-old gay man by two U.S. Marines meets the criteria for prosecution under the new Matthew Shepard James Byrd, Jr. Federal Hate Crimes Act.
The victim, Kieran Daly, says he was struck in the back of the head in a confrontation with Keil Joseph Cronauer and Christopher Charles Stanzel, who are stationed at Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina. Daly says the two men also made anti-gay remarks to him. The two Marines say Daly was harassing them.
“Although the circumstances of this assault are still under investigation, we are very pleased that Savannah police and the FBI are looking at whether this attack should be prosecuted as a federal hate crime,” said Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director of ADL.
“If this is a hate crime, prosecution under the new law will send a strong statement to the people of Savannah that violence against gays will not be tolerated,” Nigut said.
Nigut said that this case again raises concerns about the fact that Georgia is just one of five states that do not have a state hate crimes law that city and county prosecutors can apply in local jurisdictions.