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Three indicted on hate crime charges for July stabbing

Attackers called 16-year-old victim anti-gay names outside Howard Theatre



Howard Theatre, gay news, Washington Blade
Howard Theater, gay news, Washington Blade

Attackers called 16-year-old victim anti-gay names outside Howard Theatre. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A D.C. Superior Court Grand Jury has indicted two men and a woman on hate crime charges in connection with the June stabbing of a 16-year-old male outside D.C.’s Howard Theatre whom the defendants believed to be gay.

News of the indictments surfaced at an Oct. 9 arraignment in Superior Court for defendants Ali Jackson, 19, his sister Alvonica Jackson, 25, and Desmond Campbell, 33.

The indictment charges Ali Jackson and Campbell with bias-related assault with intent to kill while armed. It charges Alvonica Jackson with bias related assault with a dangerous weapon. All three defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“On or about June 26, 2012, within the District of Columbia, Ali M. Jackson and Desmond R. Campbell, while armed with a knife, assaulted [the victim] with intent to kill him because of prejudice based on the actual or perceived sexual orientation of [the victim],” the indictment says.

“On or about June 26, 2012, within the District of Columbia, Alvonica S. Jackson assaulted [the victim] with a dangerous weapon, that is, [a] knife, because of prejudice based on the actual or perceived sexual orientation of [the victim],” the indictment says.

At a July 10 preliminary hearing, a D.C. police detective testified that a witness saw Ali Jackson stab the victim in the left bicep, lower back, and left leg after shouting names at him outside the Howard Theatre at 6th and T streets, N.W.

Det. Kenneth Arrington testified at the hearing that the stabbing took place after Campbell grabbed the victim from behind and held him in a headlock and Alvonica Jackson assisted Campbell by preventing the victim from defending himself by holding his arms.

“I’m going to poke your faggy ass,” Arrington said the witness quoted Ali Jackson as saying while pointing a knife at the victim.

According to a police arrest affidavit, the three defendants each referred to the victim as a “faggy” at the time they were stopped and detained by police.

Under the city’s criminal code, someone who assists in a shooting or stabbing assault can be charged with committing such an assault even if they didn’t fire a gun or personally stab the victim.

A trial for the case set by Superior Court Judge Patricia Broderick is scheduled to begin Jan. 9, 2013.

Ali Jackson has been held without bond since the time of his arrest on the night of the incident in June. Alvonica Jackson and Campbell were released at that time while they await trial.

At the July hearing the three defendants rejected a plea bargain offer by prosecutors that would have dropped the hate crime designation to the respective assault charges against Alvonica Jackson and Campbell. The offer called for retaining the hate crime designation for the charge against Ali Jackson.

A hate crime designation to a felony charge, such as assault with a dangerous weapon, carries a longer prison term than for a similar offense without a hate related designation.

William Miller, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, said a conviction against Ali Jackson and Campbell for a hate related assault with intent to kill while armed could result in a sentence of up to 45 years in prison. A conviction against Alvonica Jackson for a hate related assault with a dangerous weapon could bring a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

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  1. Mark Peterson

    October 15, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Interestingly enough, it is likely that the tripartite African cult of violent machisimo was simply calling the victim "faggot" because that's how the tribe "rolls." Specificity of language is 'fo whites".. They were probably assaulting him because violent Black anti-white violence is rather commonplace in America, but unlike for Homosexuals that Orwellian phrase "protected class" does not apply to white males…

    • michael

      October 15, 2012 at 9:39 am

      shut up, they’re not african and those slang words your using are racist. if there is any come hate among races, its white against black

  2. Lanorexic

    October 15, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Good riddance to these ghetto dwelling douche bags. I hope they enjoy their stay in federal prison where they too can become the little “faggies”. How ironic that they will be witnessing more homosexual acts in prison than they ever thought imaginable. Jokes on them I guess. When the dark side of our society learns that it’s fine to try to kill homosexuals it spreads like an STD. It blinds like an STD as well.

  3. Laura

    October 15, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I just hope they can adopt to being the object of rape in prison. When they ‘come out’ when released from prison as one of those “faggies” I think they might regret their actions. Such useless pieces of human waste.

  4. Mike W

    October 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Its about time that the hate crime laws are finally used to protect gay people. Unfortunately, the mostly black juries in DC still wont convict blacks of hate crime charges against white gays. Thats the reason why so many previous cases just like this one were plea bargained to minor charges. The victim in this case is black so its acceptable to bring hate crime charges against black defendants. Its a sorry state of affairs.

  5. brian

    October 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    “According to a police arrest affidavit, the three defendants each referred to the victim as a ‘faggy’ at the time they were stopped and detained by police.”

    Again, this is a relatively “easy” case– with a lot of evidence. What about the hate crimes cases with not so much evidence? What about the cases MPD has not been able to close? Or those that have been closed by MPD without an arrest and trial?

    Sunday, The Washington Post reported that a substantial number of killers are literally getting away with murder in DC. See…
    “D.C. homicides: In 15 percent of closed cases, no charges and no arrests” (Cheryl W. Thompson, The Washington Post, OCT 14)

    It is very likely that lots of perps are getting away with anti-LGBT hate crimes, too.

    That’s why we need independent LGBT citizen organizations, like GLOV, to monitor MPD’s and USAO’s performance, as well a provide additional support for those to frightened or intimidated to report hate crimes violations to MPD. See Blade stories…

    Busting and prosecuting perps is not the only way to deter hate crimes, however. In the recent past, we have witnessed too much use of NOT-credible MPD PR/spin machine efforts from MPD’s press office, as well as careless MPD comments that can have the effect of jeopardizing cases, as well as victims’ rights and remedies under DC’s hate crimes law.

    MPD needs to spend its too-scarce human resources bringing hate crimes perps to justice– but also being visible within the community. When would-be perps see GLLU and other MPD officers out and about, VERY VISIBLE– patrolling the night spots and neighborhoods of likely LGBT targets– that’s another way to deter future hate crimes.

    While we can take some comfort that this case is being seriously prosecuted, we must also remain constantly vigilant of MPD and USAO. Perps are still getting away with murder– and they are still getting away with anti-LGBT hate crimes in DC.

  6. Barbara Swanson

    May 23, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I found this amazing site to make a living online…I’m now close to making $3500 a month. ( http://tinyurl.CoM/otmmgo5 )

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Judge rules trans teacher’s lawsuit against P.G. County can go to trial

Gay man files separate case charging discrimination



Jennifer Eller, gay news, Washington Blade
Jennifer Eller alleges the P.G. County school system subjected her to discrimination and harassment. (Photo courtesy of Lambda Legal)

A federal judge in Maryland issued a ruling on Tuesday, Jan. 18, clearing the way for a lawsuit filed by transgender former English teacher Jennifer Eller in 2018 charging the Prince George’s County, Md., Public Schools with discrimination and harassment based on her gender identity to proceed to a trial.

In the ruling, Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland denied key parts of several motions filed by attorneys representing the P.G. County Public Schools that in effect called for the dismissal of the lawsuit. The motions, among other things, claimed the lawsuit failed to provide sufficient evidence that Eller was subjected to discrimination and harassment, which forced her to resign due to a hostile work environment.

Chuang also ruled against a separate motion introduced by Eller’s attorneys calling for him to issue a summary judgement decision affirming all the lawsuit’s allegations that would have ended the litigation in Eller’s favor without the need to go to trial.

Eller’s lawsuit charges that school officials acted illegally by failing to intervene when she was subjected to a hostile work environment for five years that included abuse and harassment by students, parents, fellow teachers, and supervisors and retaliation by school administrators.

The lawsuit alleges that the school system and its administrators in its actions against Eller violated Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the federal Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act, and the nondiscrimination provision of the Prince George’s County Code.

“We think the judge did as best he could,” said Omar Gonzales-Pagan, an attorney with the LGBTQ litigation group Lambda Legal, which, along with the D.C. law firm Arnold & Porter, are representing Eller in her lawsuit.

“The takeaway is that the case is now in a posture to proceed to trial,” Gonzales-Pagan told the Washington Blade. “The court found that the alleged facts and the information as discovered throughout the case in the discovery process is sufficient to allow a jury to find whether Jennifer Eller was subjected to a hostile work environment and constructive discharge and retaliation unlawfully by the defendants,” he said.

By the term constructive discharge, Gonzales-Pagan was referring to the lawsuit’s charge that Eller was forced to resign from her teaching job in 2017 after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to the alleged abuse she faced on the job.

P.G. County Public Schools officials have declined to comment on the lawsuit on grounds that the school system has a longstanding policy of not discussing pending litigation. However, in its response to the lawsuit in court filings, school system officials have denied Eller’s allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

“For years, I was aggressively misgendered, attacked and harassed in the hallways and even in my own classroom by students, peers and supervisors,” Eller said in a statement released by her attorneys.

“My pleas for help and for sensitivity training on LGBTQ issues for students and staff, were ignored,” Eller said in her statement. “The relentless harassment stripped me of the joy of teaching and forced me to resign,” she said. “It is time for Prince George’s County Public Schools to be held accountable.”

The lawsuit says the harassment and discriminatory action against her began in 2011 when she began presenting as female during the school year. It says school officials initially responded to her complaints about the harassment by demanding that she stop dressing as a woman and return to wearing men’s clothes, which she refused to do.

In a separate action, gay former Spanish teacher Jared Hester filed on his own without an attorney a lawsuit in the Maryland federal court charging the P.G. County Public Schools with failing to take action to prevent him from being subjected to discrimination and harassment similar to some of the allegations made in Eller’s lawsuit.

Hester told the Blade that he was subjected to harassment by students who repeatedly called him “faggot,” but school officials, including the principal of the middle school where he taught, refused to take action to stop the harassment.

He provided the Blade with copies of earlier complaints he filed against school system officials with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, and the P.G County Public Schools’ internal Office of Equity Assurance. Each of the three agencies issued rulings against Hester’s complaints, with two of them saying sufficient evidence could not be found to support his allegations.

The EEOC, in a Nov. 3, 2021 “dismissal” notice, told Hester the EEOC “will not proceed further with its investigation, and makes no determination about whether further investigation would establish violations of the statute.” The notice added, “This does not mean the claims have no merit” or that the respondent, meaning the P.G. County Public Schools, “is in compliance with the statutes.”

The notice did not give a reason for why it chose to end its investigation into Hester’s complaint, but it said his filing with the EEOC cleared the way for him to file a lawsuit to further his case against the school system. 

Hester told the Blade he reached out to Lambda Legal to represent him in his lawsuit, but the LGBTQ litigation group declined to take on his case without giving a reason. Gonzalez-Pagan, the Lambda attorney working on the Eller case, said he was unfamiliar with Hester’s request for representation. Another Lambda official couldn’t immediately be reached to determine the reason for its decision not to represent Hester.

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FreeState Justice outlines 2022 legislative priorities

Bills introduced to repeal ‘unnatural or perverted sexual practice’ law



conversion therapy, gay news, Washington Blade

FreeState Justice has outlined its legislative priorities for the Maryland General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session that began on Jan. 12.

State Sen. Clarence Lam (D-Baltimore and Harford Counties) has introduced Senate Bill 22, which would repeal a provision of Maryland law that bans “unnatural or perverted sexual practice.” State Dels. David Moon (D-Montgomery County), Lorig Charkoudian (D-Montgomery County) and Julie Palakovich Carr (D-Montgomery County) have introduced an identical bill in the House of Delegates.

A bill that repealed Maryland’s sodomy law took effect in 2020 without Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature, but the “unnatural or perverted sexual practice” provision that criminalizes oral sex and bestiality remains in place.

FreeState Justice Policy Director C.P. Hoffman on Jan. 12 noted during a virtual briefing that prosecutors rarely bring charges under the law. Hoffman nevertheless pointed out four men who were arrested at a video store in Harford County in May 2021 were indicted under it.

“Its really just offensive that this is being used against queer people in 2021,” said Hoffman. “So we want to see it repealed.”

Hoffman and their FreeState Justice colleagues also noted the ability for transgender Marylanders to more easily obtain official documents that correspond with their gender identity is another legislative priority.

Maryland since 2019 has allowed trans and non-binary people to receive a driver’s license with an “X” gender marker.

Hoffman said FreeState Justice will support bills that would allow Marylanders to change their name on their marriage certificate without a court order or getting divorced and remarry. FreeState Justice will also back a measure that would allow trans parents to amend their child’s birth certificate to accurately reflect their gender identity.

“We’re trying to clean that up to make one consistent policy that allows for trans folks to do this,” said Hoffman.

FreeState Justice Executive Director Jeremy LaMaster during the briefing noted another legislative priority is the Inclusive Schools Act, which would require Maryland public schools to implement a uniform non-discrimination policy through the state’s Department of Education. FreeState Justice Policy Coordinator Jamie Grace Alexander highlighted the organization will also urge lawmakers to expand access to PrEP and PEP in Maryland and to support legislation that would, among other things, prohibit housing incarcerated trans women with men.

“The conditions for transgender people — especially transgender women — while they’re incarcerated are extremely grim and dark,” said Alexander.

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Mother says teen boy charged with assault in girl’s bathroom at Va. school is straight

Earlier reports that Loudoun County student was gender fluid triggered backlash



Two sexual assaults by the same teen in Loudoun County schools attracted widespread media attention. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

In a little-noticed interview last November with the British online newspaper,, the mother of a 15-year-old boy charged with sexually assaulting a girl last May in the girl’s bathroom at a Loudoun County, Va., high school that the two students attended said her son identifies as heterosexual.

The May 28, 2021, sexual assault first surfaced in the news media in October at the same time law enforcement authorities disclosed that the boy allegedly sexually assaulted a girl on Oct. 6 in a vacant classroom at another high school to which he was transferred.

The disclosure of the two assaults triggered a furious backlash by some parents and conservative political activists against a Virginia school policy allowing transgender and gender fluid students to use the bathroom that conforms to their gender identity.

“First of all, he is not transgender,” the boy’s mother told in a Nov. 2 interview. “And I think this is all doing an extreme disservice to those students who actually identify as transgender,” the newspaper quoted her as saying.

The mother, who agreed to the interview on grounds that she was not identified to protect the identity of her son, said her son identifies as heterosexual and absolutely does not identify as female.

LGBTQ activists have said the backlash against both the Virginia state and Loudoun County transgender non-discrimination policies — which spread to school districts across the country that have similar policies — was fueled by what they have said all along was unsubstantiated claims that the boy was transgender or gender fluid.

Conservative activists who strongly oppose the school systems’ trans supportive bathroom policies have said it was those policies that enabled the 15-year-old boy, who police say was wearing a skirt at the time of the May 28 sexual assault incident, to enter the girl’s bathroom to target the girl.

Since that time, testimony in a Loudoun County Juvenile Court where the boy was being prosecuted revealed that the 14-year-old girl who brought the charges against him said she and the boy had two consenting sexual encounters in a girl’s bathroom at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va., prior to the incident in which the boy allegedly assaulted her. 

According to the Washington Post, whose reporter attended one of the juvenile court hearings, the girl testified that she agreed to meet the boy in the girl’s bathroom after he requested a third sexual encounter there, but she told him she did not want to have sex at that time.

“The girl previously testified in court that the defendant threw her to the ground in the bathroom and forced her to perform two sexual acts on him after she told him that she was not interested in sex on that occasion,” the Post reported in a story last week about the final outcome of the case.

At a Jan. 12 sentencing hearing, Loudoun County Juvenile Court Chief Judge Pamela Brooks placed the boy on the Virginia sex offender registry for life, the Post reported. After ruling in an earlier hearing in November that the evidence confirmed that the boy was responsible for sexually assaulting the two girls, Brooks sentenced the boy to a residential treatment facility rather than a juvenile detention facility and required that he remain on probation until he turns 18, the Post reported.

“He’s a 15-year-old boy that wanted to have sex in the bathroom, with somebody that was willing,” the boy’s mother told “And they’re twisting this just enough to make it a political hot button issue,” she said.

In her interview with the newspaper, the mother said her son wasn’t gender fluid despite the reports, which she confirms, that he wore a skirt at the time of the first of the two sexual assaults.

“He would wear a skirt one day and then the next day, he would wear jeans and a T-shirt, a Polo or hoodie,” she told the newspaper. “He was trying to find himself and that involved all kinds of styles. I believe he was doing it because it gave him attention he desperately needed and sought,” she said.

The mother acknowledged in the interview that her son was deeply troubled, saying he had a long history of misbehavior, including sending nude photos of himself to a girl when he was in the fifth grade.

On Jan. 12, the same day as the boy’s sentencing hearing, Virginia House of Delegates member John Avoli (R-Stanton) introduced a bill calling for restricting the ability of transgender students from using bathrooms and other facilities in public schools that are consistent with their gender identity.

A separate bill introduced last month by Virginia State Sen. Travis Hackworth (R-Tazewell County) calls for eliminating the requirement that Virginia school districts adopt the state Department of Education’s nondiscrimination policies for trans and non-binary students.

Although Virginia’s newly inaugurated Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the GOP-controlled House of Delegates could move to advance the two bills, LGBTQ activists note that the state Senate remains in Democratic control and would block the two bills from being approved by the General Assembly.

Cris Candice Tuck, president of the LGBTQ group Equality Loudoun, told the Blade she expects opponents of LGBTQ nondiscrimination policies in the Loudoun County Public Schools and other school systems in Virginia to continue to use the sexual assault case of the Loudoun boy as a pretext to repeal LGBTQ and trans supportive policies. 

“We firmly believe it should have absolutely no bearing as the perpetrator was not transgender, non-binary, or gender fluid, and so that doesn’t apply to this policy at all,” Tuck said. “A single conviction of an individual who is not even part of the group in question is no reason to invalidate the rights and expose to potential violence the hundreds of students who identify as transgender or non-binary,” Tuck said in an email message.

“Currently, the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America, and hundreds of cisgender teachers, clergy, and coaches are embroiled in legal battles nationwide involving sexual molestation, rape, and abuse of children across the country that has been ongoing for decades,” Tuck said. “Yet no one is proposing restroom restrictions for any of those groups. A double standard cannot exist for the LGBTQ+ based on fear mongering, misinformation, and discrimination.”

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