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San Diego

A 22-year-old man charged with committing a hate crime against a gay man in Hillcrest pleaded guilty Thursday to violating the victim’s civil rights.

Bradley John Fowler, the son of San Diego Sockers owner Ron Fowler, also pleaded guilty to grand theft in the Sept. 2 attack, in which the victim was punched or kicked while in the 3700 block of Fourth Avenue.

This is the first case filed by the district attorney’s office alleging that a hate crime was committed against someone because of their sexual orientation, Deputy Dist. Atty. Dominic Dugo said.

Civil rights violations have been charged against defendants who committed hate crimes because of the victims’ races or national origins.

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San Diego Municipal Judge Charles Patrick set sentencing for Nov. 29. Fowler could receive a maximum of one year in jail as well as a $10,000 fine.

The victim, who is in his 20s, did not suffer permanent injuries in the attack.

“By threat of force, I interfered with a person’s civil rights because of sexual orientation,” Fowler wrote on his change of plea form.

Fowler, of San Diego, remains free on $15,000 bond on condition he have no contact with the victim.

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