Saturday, January 20, 2007

Another False Gay-Bashing

From Florida:
BARTOW - On July 25, 2005, when Christopher Robertson reported that the mobile home he shared with his partner at Kings Manor Mobile Home Park in Lakeland had been set on fire and the words "Die Fag" were spray-painted on the front steps, it sparked widespread outrage.

Sympathizers set up an account for donations for the couple and Web sites and blogs decried the anti-gay bigotry and hatred the couple faced.

But Robertson, 24, later admitted to investigators that he set the fire himself to collect insurance money and that he had falsely reported that items were stolen from the mobile home after the fire, although he had actually put them into a storage unit.

On Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Donald Jacobsen sentenced Robertson to 18 months in state prison, to be followed by six years' probation, as part of a plea agreement with the State Attorney's Office. Robertson pleaded guilty in November to filing a false or fraudulent insurance claim, burning to defraud an insurance company and first-degree arson.
If the Uniform Crime Reports bias crime system works the same way that the rest of the Uniform Crime Reports system works, this was reported as an anti-homosexual bias crime in 2005--but won't be corrected, now that the actual nature of the crime is known. There are enough of these hate crimes against homosexuals that are reported--and later demonstrated to be made up--that it probably significantly inflates the FBI's figures for this category.

A bit more disturbing:
Robertson's lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Renee Reid, asked Jacobsen to delay the sentencing hearing for several months. Robertson has a job coming up that would last about six weeks and his employer needed him, she told Jacobsen.

Reid said Robertson also had recently been given custody of a teenager who will not turn 18 until October, and he needed time to make arrangements for the boy to have a place to live.
What is this, foster care? Why would you allow someone to be a foster parent with a serious criminal charge hanging over them?

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