Thursday, June 27, 2013

23-Year-Old George Allen Mason Jr. And Wife Saraya Sophia Lisa Gardner Indicted By Federal Grand Jury On A Charge Of Violating Federal Hate Crimes Act; Mason Attacked Gay Man Walking With Boyfriend And Their Pink Poodle

In Oregon, a Hillsboro man has been charged with a federal hate crime related to an incident in which police say he attacked a 26-year-old gay man who was walking with his boyfriend and their pink poodle. A federal grand jury in Portland indicted George Allen Mason Jr., 23, Wednesday on a charge of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Hillsboro police said Mason uttered an anti-gay slur March 1 while attacking David Beltier, of Beaverton, near Northwest 185th Avenue and Evergreen Parkway. The indictment reportedly says Mason struck the victim with a metal tool because of the victim's perceived sexual orientation, reports the Oregonian. Mason's wife, 23-year-old Saraya Sophia Lisa Gardner, is charged with one count of obstruction of justice. According to the justice department, the indictment says Gardner lied about Mason's whereabouts at the time Hillsboro police were searching for him and repeatedly lied about the weapon Mason used to strike the victim. The federal case is being investigated by the Portland division of the FBI in cooperation with Hillsboro police, according to the justice department, and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Mason also faces state charges in Washington County Circuit Court related to the incident. A Washington County grand jury indicted him in March on charges of second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, second-degree intimidation and reckless driving. He is scheduled to go to trial on those charges in July.

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