FBI probes assault

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Five Suffolk men may face federal charges in connection with the assault of a Newsoms man, who believes he was targeted because of his sexual orientation.

While visiting family in the 1200 block of East Washington Street Saturday, Suffolk Police were called to the scene around midnight and found Marvin Jackson, 18, beaten, said Suffolk Police Lt. Debbie George, department spokeswoman.

Jackson told police he was assaulted by five males, who were guests at the home. As he was repeatedly struck, kicked and hit with a chair, the suspects yelled homosexual slurs, the victim told police.

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Jackson sustained lacerations to the head and other bruises throughout his body, requiring several stitches. He was treated and released from Obici Hospital.

Police have secured warrants for malicious wounding and assault by mob for the suspects, four of whom have been arrested including:

-James C. Scott III, 19, of the 4600 block of Sleepy Hole Road.

-Dontrail Eley, 18, of the 6000 block of Brookwood Drive

-Terrell Artis, 19, 1100 block of East Washington Street

-Keith Sessoms, 18, 1100 block of Woods Parkway

Police are still looking for Dontra Artis, 20, of 1100 Blythewood Drive

George confirmed that the case has been referred to the FBI for investigation as a possible hate crime. Police do not have jurisdiction in cases of hate crimes involving sexual orientation. State code is limited to incidents wherein race, religion and sexual origin are factors.

Federal law opens the door

for charges to

be brought in

cases driven by a victim’s sexual orientation.

Meanwhile, &uot;They (the suspects) could face charges under federal law,&uot; said George.

Jackson told WVEC TV-13 that he was beaten for 10 minutes, during which time hot grease was thrown on him. He also recalled hearing a reference to a gun.