Are we going to see more cases of LGBT-ers crying wolf?

With the rise of equal rights, with LGBT members starting to be protected just like everyone else, with communities and states adding sexual orientation into hate crime laws, are we going to see more cases where LGBT-ers are crying wolf?  We recently reported on one upsetting case where a "Utah man who says he was branded forced to drink bleach lied, admits it was a cry for help.

Jones stated that he lied about the attacks to get the attention of people close to him, but the nation was paying attention.  Another situation that has been in the news for the past 5 years is finally coming to a close.  A Tennessee jury in a vandalism / arson court case recently found a lesbian couple, Laura and Carol Stutte, guilty of setting their own home on fire in September of 2010 and making it look like a hate crime.

In this video from ABC WATE 6 broadcast in May 2011 shows that there was doubt that this was a crime against the lesbian couple back then.







 It looks like this five year ordeal has finally come to a close.  What were the results of last week's court hearing?

Daniel Foster, a special agent with the Bomb and Arson section of the state Fire Marshal’s Office, testified that he was one of several in his office to investigate the case, and that suspicions would fall to none other than the Stuttes themselves.

Foster said no one was ever charged in the fire, and the statute of limitations on pursuing criminal charges has since passed. But there were several reasons the Stuttes became suspects, Foster said.

First, a handwriting expert at East Tennessee State University told investigators that writing spray painted on several plywood boards outside the Stuttes’ second residence on Depot Street matched that of a gay slur spray painted on a detached garage at the Highway 360 property near the time of the fire. Attorneys for ANPAC and the Stuttes had already agreed that Carol Stutte spray painted the signs outside the Depot Street home.

The Stuttes also had three dogs which the couple described as “good guard dogs.” Foster said it was curious the dogs did not alert anyone and also survived the fire. Lastly, another investigator informed Foster the Stuttes were not very cooperative during the investigation. Investigators said the couple misled the insurance company investigators when the company first looked into the matter, and that the Stuttes had suspiciously increased their insurance coverage on the home by around 50 percent in the months preceding the blaze.  The plaintiff’s attorney noted that the couple had also moved several personal items out of the home, including important legal documents, to another residence shortly before the fire happened.

“Just those few things together pointed more toward them,” Foster said.  He added that he did not have any evidence to tie the Stuttes — or anyone else — to the fire.  “It only benefitted them for the house to burn,” Foster said. –

We wish that no one would "cry wolf" when it comes to hate crimes, rape, molestation, vandalism, etc. Is this what happened in this case?  Maybe?  Is a jury always correct?  No, but is there a great amount of evidence showing that this couple did NOT do this?

I've watched enough Law & Order SVU to know that many women do not come forward when raped for fear of not being believed. That is an awful reason that we cannot see transposed into our community in regard to hate crimes.  We as a community will only be set back further if we continue to have individuals / couples falsely trying to use hate crime legislation for their personal gain.



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