Man Pleads Guilty to Anti-Gay Attack at Julius

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011  |  Updated 6:55 PM EDT
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Man Pleads Guilty to Anti-Gay Attack at Julius

NBCNewYork

The Julius Bar

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A man accused of spitting anti-gay and racist insults while attacking a man at one of New York City's oldest gay bars has pleaded guilty to hate-crime assault and other charges.

Frederick Giunta entered his plea Tuesday in the October incident at Julius in the West Village. It's a Manhattan tavern where a 1966 "sip-in'' marked an early moment in the gay-rights movement.

The 45-year-old Giunta is expected to get a 3 -year prison sentence.

His lawyer, Hershel Katz, says Giunta's behavior stemmed from drunkenness, not malice.

Police said the assault victim, a bartender, was trying to defuse a dispute between Giunta and another customer when Giunta hit the victim in the face and used the epithets.

Giunta also pleaded guilty to attempted robbery for grabbing at a man's wallet at another bar.

 

Moments before the attack inside Julius, Giunta allegedly punched another man in the face on Christopher Street and tried to take his wallet, according to court papers.

Giunta has history of targeting gay establishments for robberies, said Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who said "this vile attack will not be tolerated" and said she would meet with bar-owner to hear what kind of help the city can offer them.

Last year, two Staten Island men were charged with attacking a patron at the Stonewall Inn,  a powerful symbol of the gay rights movement.   The attacks happened amid Carl Paladino's rants against gay people and the tragic suicide of Tyler Clementi, who threw himself off the George Washington Bridge after his Rutgers University roommate recorded him and another man having sex.

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