One of four men involved in an assault in Thunder Bay that was initially reported as a gaybashing received an absolute discharge last week.
On Sept 5, 2009, John “Jake” Raynard was severely beaten by four teens who allegedly shouted “fags” during the assault. The incident made headlines across Canada and prompted a rally in Thunder Bay that drew almost 1,000 people.
Raynard himself was also charged and pleaded guilty to assault. He negotiated a plea bargain and received an absolute discharge in May 2010.
Following his discharge in May 2010, Raynard told Xtra, “In the process of defending myself and my friends, I did harm to my attackers.” As to his charge and guilty plea, he explained, “the verdict sends a
mixed message.” The main reason he didn’t fight the charge was
money. “Going to court is expensive, so I don’t feel I was given many
Following the assault, Raynard needed reconstructive surgery to repair a shattered skull, crushed cheekbone, broken jaw and damage to one eye.
(NOTE: the text of this post was revised. 7,000 people was changed to 1,000)