Hate-crime legislation enacted in Ulster County in 2019 allows for the elevation of charges that would otherwise be considered misdemeanors to prosecution at the felony level.
For his attack on a gay man, Shayne Wilber, 31, of Woodstock was indicted this Tuesday, July 11, by an Ulster County grand jury for the felonies of criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, assault, and criminal mischief.
The indictment alleges that the defendant, while at an Ulster County bar, began hurling homophobic slurs at the victim upon learning he was gay. It was alleged that the defendant threw an object at the victim, causing injuries to the victim’s lip. The defendant allegedly proceeded to jump over the bar area and attack the victim, pulling out a box-cutter. After leaving the bar area, it is charged that Wilber punched a hole through the door windows, causing at least $500 worth of damage.
Wilber is currently in the Ulster County Jail serving a sentence for violating the terms of his probation at the time of the offense.
Assistant district attorney Paul Derohannesian stated that “hate has no place in Ulster County.”
The Ulster County DA’s office said it will fight for victims targeted because of their sexual orientation, or any of the other categories protected by New York’s hate-crime statute, which include race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation.