Gay-Bashing Victims Settle Lawsuit with Attackers

by Victor Fiorillo | November 13, 2017 11:42 am

From left: Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott and Philip Williams in AP photos.

Just over three years since Zachary Hesse and Andrew Haught were attacked at 16th and Chancellor streets in a case that became known as the “Center City Gay-Bashing,” the two men have settled a civil lawsuit[1] they filed against the three people who faced criminal charges over the incident.

See all »[12]

Hesse and Haught filed the suit in May 2016, naming Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott and Philip Williams.

The suit claimed that Harrigan began shouting homophobic slurs at the men before hitting Hesse in the face with a closed fist and that Knott hit him in the face while he was restrained, calling him a “faggot.”

As for Williams, the suit alleged that he hit Haught in the face repeatedly, causing Haught to fall and lose consciousness.

Haught spent five days in the hospital and suffered a fractured jaw that required his mouth to be wired shut for nearly two months. Hesse sustained injuries as well.

Both Harrigan and Williams made plea deals in the criminal case, with Harrigan pleading guilty to simple assault and conspiracy and Williams pleading guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy. Harrigan and Williams escaped jail time as a result of those plea deals, instead receiving probation.

But Knott refused any plea deals offered, opting to go to trial. It didn’t work out well for her. A jury convicted Knott of simple assault, conspiracy and two counts of reckless endangerment, and the judge sentenced her to five to 10 months in prison followed by probation. She was released from jail in July 2016.

The suit sought unspecified damages, and the terms of the settlement are confidential.

Meanwhile, Knott remains a defendant in a $5 million federal civil suit[13] that is winding its way through the courts.

In that case, which names Knott and her cop dad, among others, a Montgomery County woman claims that Knott and the other defendants retaliated against her over a “parody” Kathryn Knott online account that the woman had set up after the attack, allegedly causing the woman to lose her job. A judge recently ruled that the case could move forward after the defendants filed a motion to dismiss.

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