The man who assaulted a lesbian couple accompanied by a minor was released on GEL 3,000 bail (870 USD) today by the court. The attacker, the couple’s neighbor, has been prohibited from communicating and approaching both women in any way, while a restraining order has also been issued.
According to the Tbilisi Pride, LGBTQ rights organization, the lesbian couple was attacked on homophobic grounds in their apartment courtyard by a middle-aged supposedly drunk man on April 20. The assailant, who was yelling out loud derogatory statements toward the couple, subjected them to physical and verbal abuse. Later, he threatened the couple with a folding knife.
One of the victims managed to videotape the incident and call the police during the offense, while the attacker forcibly appropriated the phone from her in an unsuccessful attempt of evidence tampering. The assailant continued physically and verbally insulting the couple in the presence of the police, spitting and throwing at them a cigarette butt. The law enforcement officers were forced to call the additional crew to detain the assailant, who aggressively resisted the arrest.
On April 22, the police launched an investigation against the detainee “for threatening, coercion and unauthorized access to a computer system,” crime envisaged under articles 151, 150, and 284 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
According to the media, the couple was given victim status, while the prosecution’s office asked the court to order pretrial detention for the perpetrator before the end of the investigation. The lawyer of the attacked couple, Tsira Jgerenaia, told the media after the court verdict that the assailant’s release conditions are not adequate enough to defend the couple from further violent conduct.
Tamaz Sozashvili, a Tbilisi Pride activist, also noted that the assailant should not be released as the couple remains exposed to potential threats. Supposedly, the police did not approach the case with proper sensitivity, while “such court rulings encourage hate crimes,” Sozashvili concluded.