NEW YORK — Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped charges against three of the 11 suspects accused of perpetrating brutal anti-gay attacks on two men and two teens in the Bronx.
In Bronx Supreme Court, attorneys for the state cited a lack of evidence to support the three defendants’ alleged participation in the Oct. 3 gang-related anti-gay crime. Bryan Almonte and Brian Cepeda, both 17, and Steven Carabello, 16, were then released from jail.
The three youths had been charged with hate crimes, gang assault, robbery and unlawful imprisonment in connection with the now-notorious attacks, which many believe are the most severe, sadistic anti-gay hate crimes in recent memory. Authorities say a gang calling themselves the Latin King Goonies beat and sodomized a 17-year-old boy they found out was gay during his initiation into the crew. The suspects then burned, assaulted and sodomized a 30-year-old man who they believed had a sexual encounter with the 17-year-old recruit. During the attack on that man, other gang members went to his house and committed robbery after beating his brother. The gang also assaulted another teen they perceived to be gay during the vicious rampage.
The remaining suspects face charges including sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and assault as hate crimes.