Woman accused of beating son for being gay could face hate crime charges

By David Ferguson
Friday, August 30, 2013 8:39 EDT
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Mary Gowans via screencap
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A mother in rural North Carolina could face hate crime charges after attacking her son and ordering her other son to attack him for being gay. According to Wilmington, NC’s NBC Channel 6, Mary Gowans has been charged with misdemeanor child abuse as prosecutors mull whether she should be charged with a hate crime.

On Saturday, Whiteville, NC police received a call about a domestic disturbance. They arrived to find a chaotic scene with multiple people screaming and shouting. Gowans reportedly had ordered her 15-year-old son to strip to his underwear and attacked him with a belt. She also ordered her 12-year-old to attack his older brother because of the 15-year-old’s sexual orientation.

The older boy, whose back featured a large laceration from the belt, told authorities that his mother had attacked him for being gay.

Gowans denied the charges, saying that her older son was intoxicated and that he had been visiting a gay man, which was why she was punishing him. She alleged that the man molested her son, but no charges have been filed.

Social workers are reportedly investigating the situation.

Watch the video, embedded below via Channel 6:


David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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