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Two men sentenced to prison for anti-gay attacks in Los Angeles

September 12, 2003

LOS ANGELES — Two men were sentenced to prison after pleading no contest to attempted murder and hate crime charges in baseball bat attacks on two men they thought were gay.

Ever Wilfredo Rivera was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years; Selvin Orlando Campos was given a 10-year term. The 20-year-old men faced life sentences if convicted at trial of the two separate attacks.

"Now they are going to pay the price," said victim Ricardo Lorenzana, 47. "I hope they learn from what they did. It wasn't right."

The Oct. 14 attacks occurred east of West Hollywood, where a gay actor was beaten in September 2002. Prosecutors declined to file hate crime charges in that case after concluding the motive was robbery. Three men pleaded guilty.

The later attacks were definitely hate crimes, prosecutors said.

"The suspects went to this neighborhood looking for these types of vulnerable victims," said Deputy District Attorney John Allen Ramseyer.

Campos' attorney, Merrill Davidson, said neither defendant wanted to face the possibility of life terms.

"The risk was too great," he said. "They'll have a chance to be somebody after they get out." –Sapa-AP

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