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Man Convicted in ‘Gay-Bashing’ Incident

A 19-year-old Sun Valley man was convicted Monday of assault with a deadly weapon and civil rights violations stemming from a “gay-bashing” incident in West Hollywood following the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade earlier this year, officials said.

Walid Ali Fakhreddine faces a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in prison when he is sentenced next month, said Sandy Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Fakhreddine was one of eight teen-agers who attacked Brie Cooper, 29, and Victor Rawl, 34, about two blocks from the starting point of the parade June 23.

“It was a hate crime,” Gibbons said.

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Cooper was walking past a 7-Eleven store at 7950 Santa Monica Blvd. when one youth shouted an epithet and another punched him in the mouth and midsection, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies said. Rawl attempted to intervene but was punched and stomped by the group.

The two were treated for minor injuries at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and released.

Charges were also filed against two juveniles in the group, Gibbons said, but the disposition of those cases was not known.

A Santa Monica Superior Court jury deliberated the charges against Fakhreddine for about a day, Gibbons said.

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