When Gay Bashing Three People Gets You a Slap on the Wrists

Lindsay Lohan got 90 days in jail for a parole violation. So one would expect a brutal attacker to get a much higher sentence, especially if the attacker was involved in hate crimes against gay men. Unfortunately, a man involved on three assaults on gay men got half of Lohan’s sentence — a mere 45 days.

Driton Nicaj, a 20-year-old man, assaulted three gay men on the Upper East Side in New York in 2009. The first victim, Joe Holladay, was assaulted on East 85th Street by five or six men, including Nicaj. They called Holladay a “faggot” and gave him a head wound that required stitches.

The hate crime charge for the Holladay attack was dismissed by the judge, Ronald Zweibel, because apparently calling someone a “faggot” is “just typical trash-talking.”

The day after he attacked Holladay, Nicaj assaulted two other men (who, according to press reports, were also gay). One of the men ended up with a broken nose and three skull fractures, requiring the insertion of a metal plate into his head. The other man needed stitches on his lip.

Nicaj faced multiple felony charges for the three assaults, including first-degree robbery with a maximum sentence of up to 25 years of prison. He also faced six third-degree assault counts, with a maximum penalty of one year in jail, including two hate crime charges for the Holladay assault.

Somehow, Nicaj was offered an unreasonably good deal with the Manhattan district attorney. He pleaded guilty to all three assaults and was given a laughable 45-day jail sentence and three year probation period.

And if that isn’t enough of a joke, Nicaj was released early for good behavior. He began his sentence on May 20, and was released after only 21 days on June 9.

How could anyone get such a light sentence for assaulting several people?

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons