A 25-year-old from Brooklyn pleaded guilty last week to a Ridgewood hate crime dating back to 2012 that included anti-gay slurs and shocking his victim with a stun gun, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Joseph Desmond of Eldert Street in Bushwick confessed to the third-degree assault as a hate crime charge last Wednesday and now faces one to three years in prison, Brown said.
“The defendant’s guilty plea ensures that the victim of a crime motivated by hate will receive justice,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “Hate crimes – whether motivated by sexual orientation, gender, religious or ethnic bias – will never be tolerated in Queens County.”
His victim, who was 23 years old at the time, was standing at the intersection of Gates and Fairview Avenues around 8 p.m. on Sept. 25, 2012 when Desmond walked up to him, shouted anti-gay slurs, shocked him in his torso with a stun gun and then ran away, the DA said. The victim survived, but suffered severe chest pains before calling the police. Desmond was arrested in a courtyard of a nearby building that same evening, Brown said.
“The defendant has been promised a prison term of one to three years behind bars and five years’ post-release supervision,” Brown continued, “which will serve as a punishment for this crime and a deterrent to those who would contemplate committing hate crimes here in Queens.”
Desmond was originally charged with second-degree assault as a hate crime, second-degree assault, second-degree aggravated harassment and second-degree harassment when he was arrested two years ago. But he and his attorney, Kevin O’Donnell, worked with prosecutors to reach the current deal to avoid an even longer prison sentence.
“Crimes of hate – such as this random and senseless attack – will never be tolerated here in Queens County,” Brown said when Desmond was arrested in 2012. “When they do, regrettably, occur, they will be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”
By Phil Corso