Here’s what allegedly happened: Kevin Pennington was held against his will about a year ago after having been tricked by two women into getting into a truck. It drove them all to a secluded area of Kingdom Come State Park in Kentucky, where two men got out and assaulted him. What makes this account different than any other account in any other indictment in U.S. history is that as he was beaten, Pennington was also assaulted with anti-gay slurs.
Today, history was made when the two men accused of the kidnapping and assault, David Jason Jenkins and Anthony Ray Jenkins, were indicted. According to the Justice Department, this case marks the first federal hate crime charging a violation of the sexual orientation provision of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2009.
A federal grand jury in London, Ky., returned a three-count indictment charging David Jason Jenkins, 37, and Anthony Ray Jenkins, 20, for kidnapping and assaulting Kevin Pennington, and for conspiring with each other and with other unnamed individuals to commit the kidnapping. The indictment charges the men with committing a hate crime in violation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded federal jurisdiction to include certain assaults motivated by someone’s sexual orientation.
If convicted, both Jenkins could be sentenced to life in prison.