Defendant In Brooklyn Hate Crimes Trial Claims That He Is Gay

One of three men on trial for murder of a gay man has claimed that he is gay.

Anthony Fortunato, 21, one of three men on trial for murder as a hate crime in the death of gay Brooklyn resident Michael Sandy last year, now claims in his defense that he himself is gay. His lawyer says the incident last Oct 8, in which his client allegedly helped lure Sandy, 29, to a nighttime meeting in Sheepshead Bay, was part of a misguided effort to experiment with his homosexuality. Once Sandy reached Plumb Beach, a secluded spot known for gay male trysts, Fortunato, along with John Fox and Ilya “Alex” Shurov, both also 20, allegedly tried to rob him. The victim fled onto the Belt Parkway where a car struck him. He died in the hospital on Oct 13 after a battle on life support.