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Alleged gaybasher sidesteps hate designation

Hostlund approved for alternative measures

One of the men charged with assault in the alleged 2010 Tinseltown gaybashing saw his charge stayed in Downtown Community Court on April 5 in favour of alternate measures.

Crown counsel agreed to stay the charge against Michael Hostlund after Hostlund completed the requirements of an alternative measures agreement, the details of which cannot be revealed, says Crown spokesperson Neil MacKenzie.

Dustin Sciog, also charged in connection with the incident, is expected to plead guilty on April 21, according to the Vancouver Provincial Court registry.

Taking the alternative measures route removes Hostland’s charge from the criminal process, so there is no conviction and therefore no hate crime designation. But it’s only for accused people who take responsibility for their actions, MacKenzie told Xtra last week.

“It’s not a matter of somebody coming in and saying, ‘Well, I don’t think I really did anything wrong, but yeah, I’ll do some community work if I don’t get a record.’ You have to come in and say you admit the essential elements of the offence.”

MacKenzie says cases where hate may be a factor are reviewed by a regional Crown. That’s what happened in Hostland’s case, he confirms.

If the Crown decides it’s in the public interest to take the alternative measures route then the charge is stayed, which means there is no sentencing — and no hate crime designation.

Two other alleged 2010 gaybashing cases are currently making their way through Vancouver courts after the accused pleaded not guilty.

Parminder Singh Peter Bassi is charged with two counts of assault causing bodily harm, and his brother, Ravinder Robbie, is charged with one count of assault causing bodily harm for allegedly attacking David Holtzman and Peter Regier on their doorstep last June.

That case goes to trial for an estimated five days starting Nov 7.

Also, Alexandre Tchernychev and Aaron Alexander Hahn are both charged with assault causing bodily harm in connection with a July 1 attack on Davie St. Vancouver police were investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, and a prosecutor has already said hate may have been a motivation in the case.

That case had been considered for alternative measures but was rerouted to trial when the accused pleaded not guilty. It now moves to provincial court at 222 Main St, where a trial will be held June 23 to 24.