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National Prayer Network

Van Asdlen Hate Charge Dropped

By Rev. Ted Pike
21 Oct 08


The hate crimes charge against 19-year-old Illinoisan Brett Van Asdlen has been dismissed! This spring, the scholarship athlete pushed a homosexual, Steven Velazquez, causing him to hit his head without serious injury. Although the two officers who questioned Brett and his friend told him his was a legitimate case of self-defense, the state indicted him for a hate crime -- a Class 4 felony carrying up to three years' incarceration.

In its October 7 preliminary trial, however, the court accepted Brett's plea of guilty to the lesser charge of assault. Although delivered from a possible three years in prison, he is under two years' court supervision and has had to pay $597 in fines and court costs (not to mention his lawyer's probable $10,000 retainer). He also must do 200 hours of community service and take classes under the county's substance abuse treatment and partner abuse intervention programs.

Brett's concession to the "assault charge" and other penalties is onerous. Yet, he is young and strong and can go forward in his baseball career and life.

What cannot be undone is the widespread bias against him generated by Champaign, Illinois' WCIA-TV news and the homosexual press which stated as fact that Brett is a hate criminal. The least Brett deserves from them is a public apology.

Did protest calling generated by the National Prayer Network and Peter LaBarbera's Americans for Truth influence the court's decision to compromise -- perhaps to avoid bad publicity from a case that is internationally known?

Very likely. Of one thing we are certain: All hate crimes bureaucrats hate bad publicity. Whether it is public criticism in favor of Brett or Dr. Frederic Toben, now caught in a hate crimes vice of even greater consequences, public outrage can sway liberal courts. Certainly, public outcry only works to freedom's advantage -- and never to its harm.

Keep fighting! Protest Dr. Toben's probable deportation to almost certain imprisonment in Germany. Come to www.truthtellers.org for contacts with top British authorities.



Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog organization.

TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Rev. Ted Pike on this topic. Call (503) 631-3808.


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