Gay 20-Year-Old Survivor of Chechen Concentration Camps Kidnapped From Russian Safehouse -- By His Father

In 2017, the Chechen government abducted, imprisoned and tortured over 200 men in the Chechen Republic suspected of being gay or bisexual. At least 26 men have died in the Chechen concentration camps for homosexuals, the first of their kind since the Holocaust.

Attitude reports a gay survivor of one of these camps was just kidnapped—by his own father.

Zelimkhan Akhmadov, 20, was taking out the garbage at a Russian safe house when witnesses heard him screaming for help. Kidnappers, including his father, had forced him into a car.

He managed to send a brief text message —“help me”— to the Russian LGBT Network. The Network contacted St. Petersburg police.

The closest thing to good news here: based on license plate information, local police found Zelimkhan and his kidnappers.

The kidnappers have been arrested. Zelimkhan is in protective custody with a lawyer and representation from the Russian LGBT Network.

At the police station, Zelimkhan’s father reportedly repeated threats to his son, saying he brought shame to the family. He demanded his son record a video denying he’d suffered any persecution, but he denied.

Akhmadov was detained, imprisoned and tortured multiple times in Chechnya’s gay purge. He was pressured to out his friends, placed on a federal wanted list and warned that his family had been told to kill him in an “honor killing.” He was placed in a safehouse by the Russian LGBT Network.

In April, he was nearly kidnapped by Chechen police and some of his own family members. He managed to escape, but a friend he was staying with was stabbed by kidnappers.

The Chechen Republic is a part of the Russian Federation. The Russian government has steadfastly denied any persecution of LGBTQ+ people in Chechnya.

h/t: Attitude

h/t: Metro Weekly 

h/t: The Advocate 

UK Driver Faces 12 Years In Jail After Mowing Down A Gay Man In Manchester

A UK man’s in jail after he ran over a gay man.

Back in March, Aaron McDonald got into an argument with a man on Manchester’s Bloom Street. In the early hours of Sunday, March 26, these two men argued in Manchester’s Gay Village.

According to the Manchester Evening News, 31-year-old McDonald was allegedly heard calling the other man  a “f****t boy” before running off.

In his drunken stupor, McDonald was growing a menacing idea. He got into his car, drove back to the area where he had the verbal fight and ran over the other man.

The man was walking near a group of pedestrians and the group was hit by McDonald’s car. The man was thrown onto the bonnet but then McDonald hit the brakes and drove over the victim. A woman was also injured during the process.

Afterwards, McDonald drove away, parked his car one mile away from the scene on Oxford Road, and walked home. After drinking more wine and passing out on his sofa, McDonald awoke to the police at his door.

 “I was driving the car, I was waiting for yous [sic] to turn up,” said McDonald to the police later, “I know what I’ve done it’s my mistake.”

Now this past Friday (July 6), the Manchester Crown Court has found McDonald guilty of section 18 assault and has sentenced him to 12 years in jail.

In reference to McDonald’s case, Det Cons Matt Cooper, of GMP’s City of Manchester Division, said: 

"McDonald’s decision to get in his car despite having been out drinking put the lives of not only the people he targeted in danger, but everyone walking on that street that morning.

“Getting into a car under the influence of alcohol and with the intention of using it as a weapon is completely unacceptable and he is lucky that he didn’t kill the man he drove into.

“He will now have to spend the next 12 years living with the consequences of his actions.”

h/t: Manchester Evening News

Heather Barron Arrested, Charged With Torturing and Murdering Anthony Avalos

The mother of Anthony Avalos was arrested today and charged with murdering the 10-year-old boy who came out as gay weeks before his violent death.

Heather Barron, 28, appeared in court today, but her arraignment has been postponed to Monday. She is being charged with murder, child abuse resulting in death and torture, says a spokesman with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Earlier this week, Barron’s boyfriend Kareem Leiva, 32, was arrested and charged with murder, torture and assault on a child causing death, according the D.A.’s office. Leiva is being medically treated for a laceration to the neck, and will be arraigned when he is medically cleared.

If convicted on all charges, Barron faces 22 years to life in prison; Leiva faces 32 years to life.

Weeks after telling people around him he “liked boys,” the 10-year-old boy was found unresponsive in his home covered in cigarette burns with severe head trauma. He died June 21.

According to Department of Children and Family Services Director Bobby Cagle, Anthony showed signs of being severely beaten and malnourished.

On Tuesday, The L.A. County Board of Supervisors called for a comprehensive review of Anthony’s case history.

Clearly, law enforcement and child welfare services failed Anthony Avalos.

h/t: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-anthony-avalos-arrest-20180629-story.html

For more on this case: http://instinctmagazine.com/post/10-year-old-boy-anthony-avalos-came-out-weeks-brutal-torture-and-death


Kareem Leiva Arrested, Charged With Murder of Anthony Avalos

On Wednesday, an arrest was made in the brutal killing of 10-year-old Anthony Avalos, a boy who had recently come out, saying he “liked boys” mere weeks before he was found covered in cigarette burns with severe head injuries. He died last Thursday.

32-year-old Kareem Leiva is in the custody of Southern California police, and he has been charged with murder. Leiva is reportedly a member of the violent gang MS-13, which has a branch in El Salvador that murders members if they are outed as gay.

Anthony’s uncle David Barron told The Los Angeles Times that Leiva was outspokenly homophobic, saying he was “uncomfortable just being around” gay men.

According to police, homophobia hasn’t yet been discussed as a motive in Avalos’ death.

Leiva is being held on a $2 million bail.

According to NBC News, Anthony told authorities in private interviews that he had been “locked up, beaten and not fed,” consistent information with the over 16 calls Child Protective Services had received about the boy and his siblings.

Still, Anthony remained in his mother’s care.

Following the arrest of Leiva, eight other children have been removed from the home.

"Nobody did anything. I don’t know why they thought that was OK for them to go back with their mother," said Karla Avalos, Anthony’s aunt. “What is wrong with the system?"

The boy was found unresponsive in his Lancaster home last week when his mother Heather Barron called police saying he had suffered a “fall.”

DCFS director Bobby Cagle told NBC News it was "premature" to describe Avalos's torture and death as a failure of the child welfare system. 

h/t: https://www.advocate.com/crime/2018/6/28/ms-13-gang-member-arrested-murder-10-year-old-gay-kid

h/t: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/man-charged-killing-boy-10-who-reportedly-came-out-gay-n887221

10-Year-Old Boy Anthony Avalos Came Out Weeks Before Brutal Torture and Death

On June 20, 10-year-old Anthony Avalos was found unresponsive at his family’s home. He had suffered severe head injuries and cigarette burns covered his body. He died on the Thursday 21st.

On Sunday, The Los Angeles Times reported that at least 16 calls had been made to LA. County’s child abuse hotline and to local police before the boy’s death:

“Callers alleged that he or his six siblings had been denied food and water, beaten, sexually abused, dangled upside-down from a staircase, forced to crouch for hours, locked in small spaces with no access to the bathroom, and forced to eat from the trash.”

The L.A. Times reports just weeks before his death, Anthony came out as gay, saying he “liked boys.”

Anthony’s aunt Maria Barron repeatedly warned authorities about Anthony’s mother Heather Barron and her boyfriend Kareem Leiva. Leiva was convicted of domestic abuse in 2010.

Of course it’s impossible to not mention the parallels with the 2013 death of Gabriel Fernandez, the 8-year-old boy who was brutally tortured and killed by his mother and her boyfriend in Palmdale. Earlier this month, a judge sentenced Gabriel’s mother to life in prison; her boyfriend was sentenced to death.

Welfare officials had been in contact with Gabriel’s family, and saw signs of abuse. Four social workers are facing criminal charges in that case.

On Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors ordered authorities in charge of child protection to examine the case of Anthony Avalos.

“This was an innocent child who suffered unspeakable abuse,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger at the Board’s weekly meeting. She says the boy was murdered.

“You had teachers. You had family members. You had law enforcement come in contact,” Barger said. And yet Anthony is at the morgue. There is no question that we have to do better.”

h/t: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-anthony-avalos-response-20180626-story.html

Gay Couple Brutally Attacked In Russia Before World Cup

Just prior to the first match of this year’s World Cup in St. Petersburg, a gay couple were brutally attacked.

A Frenchman identified only as O. Davrius and his partner, who hasn’t been named, were physically assaulted and robbed of their money and cellphones. Davrius suffered a fractured jaw, an open head injury and possible brain damage.

The opening match in the 2018 World Cup was between two anti-LGBTQ+ nations: Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Davrius and his partner were reportedly targeted and attacked after they caught a taxi.

Perhaps you know this already, but FIFA is the worst. Just the absolute worst. Driven solely by the desire for profit, they’ve ignored the civil rights and safety of fans, and even players, for decades. They’ve received a great deal of criticism for the decision to hold this year’s games in Russia, especially in light of the incarcerations and executions in Chechnya.

Organizations for LGBTQ+ soccer fans have been receiving threats for months leading up to the World Cup. One such group, Pride in Football, received messages saying LGBTQ+ soccer fans would be hunted down and killed.

Russia’s government is openly homophobic. Anti-LGBTQ+ crimes in the nation have risen sharply since 2013, when the “gay propaganda” law came into play. This law bans any positive mention of LGBTQ+ people or rights in any place accessible to minors.

Nevertheless, in the weeks leading up to the opening ceremonies, this year’s World Cup organizing committee told LGBTQ+ fans that no harm would come to them at this year’s series.

In four years, FIFA is holding the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is flat-out illegal.

h/t: si.com

College Teacher Charged With Voyeurism After Recording His Former Student In The Bathroom

A chemistry teacher has been charged with two counts of voyeurism after he was caught secretly recording his male roommate in their bathroom.

Jonathon Downing is a professor at North Idaho College who’s been charged after he recorded his male roommate and his girlfriend, according to news outlet KXLY.

The roommate, who was a former student, shared that Downing would make sexual comments towards him despite the roommate being straight. This eventually led to him becoming suspicious.

The roommate then discovered a pinhole camera in the bathroom wall. After then searching through their shared computer, the victim found videos and images of himself and his girlfriend naked.

This led to a call to the police and the quick questioning of Downing by the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.

During questioning, Downing admitted that he had intentionally placed the camera in the bathroom to record his roommate without his clothes. He also said that he didn’t mean to record the girlfriend.

It was then that the police arrested and booked Downing into the Kootenai County Jail on a bail bond set at $35,000 with two counts of Video Voyeurism.

On top of that, Downing was an advisor for the North Idaho College Gender and Sexuality Alliance, which promotes creating safe spaces for LGBTQ people. Downing had even previously stated that he would host for any of the members who needed to get away.

The group later posted to Facebook to address Downing charges.

In addition, the North Idaho College sent an email to all students stating that Downing has been suspended from the college “pending the outcome of law enforcement’s investigation and NIC’s personnel process.”

“With an ongoing felony investigation and other personnel matters, we are limited in what we can share, but North Idaho College is committed to insuring an environment that creates trust and safety for our students, employees, and our community.”

Now, the police are investigating the situation and are asking any former roommates or house guests of Downing to speak to them.

A New York City Math Teacher Was Arrested For Having Sex With A Middle School Boy

A Brooklyn middle school teacher was arrested for having sex with a male student.

Just a few weeks ago, Andre Braddy, 34, was a popular and well-respected math and advanced algebra teacher at Lenox Academy, PS 235.

Then, a student told his mother he’d had sex with the teacher, which led to the mother contacting the police. That led to the police setting up a monitored call between the teacher and student, which led to Braddy’s arrest.

Police say that Braddy had oral and anal sex with the student three times between March 19 and April 20. All of these encounters happened on the school premises in either a classroom or in a bathroom.

Plus, police found sexually charged texts and pictures shared between the two. In one text, Braddy apologized for taking the boy’s virginity and asked if he liked the photos Braddy sent.

“He was really important to us,” 14-year-old Lenox Academy student Amari Aaron, told The New York Times. “It’s devastating to hear he’d do something like this. Nobody thought he’d be capable.”

Other people have also noted how Braddy seemed like a remarkable man before the news came out. For instance, his lawyer said he was a “remarkable success story.”

“His father's been in and out of jail. He attended CUNY where he received a full scholarship,” Stoll told the New York Daily News. “He works seven days a week. On Sundays he teaches math and calculus at Medgar Evers College.”

Stoll said Braddy lives with his mom and his “severely disabled, autistic sister, who he takes care of.”

Unfortunately, all of that good has been overturned by the revelation that Braddy was having sexual relations with one of his students.

Braddy is now being charged with three counts each of engaging in criminal sexual acts and sexual misconduct, four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and a count of second-degree criminal sexual acts.

The former teacher was held on $75,000 bond or $25,000 case bail, placed in protective custody and on suicide watch.

If convicted, Braddy could be facing up to 7 years in prison. He’s expected to be back in court on May 1.

Two Gay Men Were Attacked Near A Historic Washington D.C. Theatre

Washington, D.C. police are investigating the attack of two gay men.

Sunday morning, D.C. Council candidate Jamie Sycamore tweeted that two gay men were attacked in the 2000 block of 10th Street Northwest.

“Last night two men were gaybashed outside the @HowardTheatre,” he tweeted. “Our country is in decline, and it’s time to start making change locally to ensure our #DCValues remain strong.”

“As far as I know, they were walking and they started getting called names and they got attacked,” he said.

Sycamore, who says he knows the victims and contacted one of them that day, said the two suffered injuries from the attack like a broken nose, a chipped tooth, and broken bones.

Since then, the police have gotten involved.

“The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating this offense as potentially being motivated by hate or bias,” the department said in a statement. Until they can determine whether or not hate was involved, the case is being categorized as an aggravated assault.

In addition, the Special Liaison Branch, a community policing unit that also has an LGBTQ faction, will be working on this case as well.

As for Sycamore, he and his husband live in the area and they say that the LGBTQ community living near the location of the incident is scared and angry.

“This news spread like wildfire in such a close community,” Sycamore said.

“We have to send that message that it can’t be tolerated,” he added. “I’m confident in [D.C. police] . . . and I think their work will lead to justice for those that have been impacted in our community. In the meantime, I hope that everyone sends their thoughts to the community and to the victims and so can go on living their truth and being fabulous.”

Police did not provide descriptions of the assailants, but a new video was released online a few hours ago showing what is possibly the moment of attack. (Warning: the video contains depictions of violence).

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 202-727-9099 or text tips to 50411.