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Feds join investigation into gay Rock Hill man’s attack

Apr 19, 2011 10:14:00 AM - thestate.com
The FBI confirmed Monday it is investigating the beating of a 19-year-old gay man by a group of at least eight men at a Rock Hill convenience store.

The federal involvement in the probe of the potential hate crime comes as local law enforcement continues to investigate the attack as an assault.

“We’re all over it,” said special agent Earl Burns, a spokesman for the Columbia office of the FBI. “Matters of this sort – hate, civil rights – are one of our highest priorities in the bureau.

“What we’re trying to do now is determine the extent of FBI involvement.”

South Carolina has no specific hate crime laws, but laws passed in 2009 give federal authorities extended power to investigate allegations of crimes against gays that could potentially be civil rights violations.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)