BOSTON, Jan. 21, 2015—A Dorchester man was sentenced to jail time today and a second man was placed under house arrest after a jury convicted them of an unprovoked, bias-motivated 2014 attack, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
A Suffolk Superior Court jury on Tuesday convicted STEVEN SUDLER (D.O.B. 5/14/77) of assault and battery to intimidate causing injury and violating his victim’s civil rights while causing injury; jurors found him not guilty of an additional charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The same jury found DAVID GUANTE (D.O.B. 4/17/90) guilty of assault and battery to intimidate causing injury but acquitted him of violating the victim’s civil rights.
At a sentencing hearing today, Assistant District Attorney Ryan Mingo of the DA’s Major Felony Bureau recommended that Sudler serve two to three years in state prison followed by three years of probation. He recommended a two-year house of correction term for Guante with one year to serve and the balance suspended for two years.
“No one should have to endure threats or violence because of who they are, how they look, or where they’re from,” Conley said. “If you’ve been the victim of a hate crime — or any violent assault — you can feel safe coming to us for help.”
Judge Elizabeth Fahey sentenced Sudler to 2½ years in the house of correction followed by three years of probation. As conditions of his probation, Sudler must stay away and have no contact with the victim, attend and complete a diversity awareness program, and maintain employment. Fahey ordered Guante to serve two years of probation, with the first six months to be served on house arrest but for employment obligations. During his probationary term, Guante must seek and maintain employment, complete his GED and the Changing Lives Through Literature program, and stay away and have no contact with the victim.
During the course of a two-day trial, Mingo presented evidence and testimony to prove that on the evening of Aug. 3, 2014, the 31-year-old male victim was walking through a Dorchester Avenue parking lot on his way to Andrew MBTA station when Sudler and Guante began shouting homophobic slurs at him from a parked vehicle. Sudler and Guante then exited the vehicle and approached the victim from behind; Mingo introduced evidence that Sudler was armed with a knife, prompting the victim to draw a knife of his own.
A brief physical altercation occurred, in which the victim suffered a stab wound to his left hand. After the men separated, they continued to exchange words even once the victim had crossed Dorchester Avenue. MBTA Transit Police responded to the area a short time later.
Michael Coffey was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Sudler was represented by Michael Roitman and Guante by Thomas Brant.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.