BY ROB SALERNO: Back in June, we let you know that two Windsor men were found guilty, by a jury, of assault and robbery in the beating of gay man Chris Rabideau. Yesterday, Stephen Lambert and Michael Allard were sentenced to 36 months in jail, including 14 months already served. They will also be on probation for a further 24 months.
Justice Scott Campbell called the two men "bullies" in his decision, which doesn't seem like a strong enough word to describe an assault that knocked Rabideau unconscious and left him with two black eyes, a broken nose and other injuries. Security video of the assault showed them kicking, punching and choking him.
Even though the assailants called Rabideau "homo" and "faggot" during the beating, Justice Campbell decided that the Crown had not produced enough evidence that the pair targeted Rabideau because he was gay, and thus did not allow a hate crime charge to stick.
According to The Windsor Star, lawyers for both accused called the decision "fair." Interestingly, Allard's lawyer has called for sensitivity training in prisons for people accused of committing hate crimes. Such training would be like drug or alcohol counselling that's made available to prisoners accused on drug charges. That would actually be a step in the right direction and, if anything comes of it, could be a silver lining in this awful case.
A few days before the attack, Rabideau made a video about homophobia to promote a play he was directing to promote tolerance among Windsor youth.