2 women plead guilty to hate crime after targeting gay man
BY BILL ESTEP Lexington Herald-Leader
Saturday, April 14, 2012
4/14/12 at 5:41 AM
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Two teens have pleaded guilty to helping assault a Kentucky man who was targeted because he is gay.
Alexis Leeann Jenkins and Mable Ashley Jenkins, both 19 and residents of Harlan County, Ky., pleaded guilty to kidnapping and aiding others in causing bodily injury to the victim because of his sexual orientation, according to court documents.
The convictions are the first in the nation under provisions of the federal hate-crimes law that make it illegal to assault a person because of his or her actual or perceived sexual orientation, according to U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey.
The women face possible sentences of life in prison. They are to be sentenced in August.
The two pleaded guilty earlier in the week, but documents outlining the charges were unsealed and made available on the federal court website Friday.
The charges arise from an April 4, 2011, attack on Kevin Pennington, 28, who lives in Partridge, Ky.
Alexis Jenkins is the wife of Anthony Ray Jenkins, 20, one of two men accused of kidnapping and assaulting Pennington because he is gay. Mable Ashley Jenkins, who goes by Ashley, is Anthony Ray Jenkins' sister.
The fourth person charged in the attack is David Jason Jenkins, 37, a cousin of Anthony and Ashley Jenkins.
According to a federal indictment, the two men wanted to attack Pennington and got Alexis and Ashley Jenkins to lure Pennington to go with them with the promise they would help him buy Suboxone, a pain medication that many people abuse.
The four took Pennington to a secluded spot at Kingdom Come State Park, and Jason and Anthony Jenkins beat him, according to court documents.
In addition to conspiracy and kidnapping, the two men are charged under the federal hate-crimes law with assaulting Pennington based on his sexual orientation.
The charges are the first of their kind in the nation under 2009 revisions to the federal hate-crime law.
Original Print Headline: Two women plead guilty to hate crime