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CBS producers gay-bashed in Caribbean
2006-05-01

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Two CBS television producers were severely gay-bashed April 6 on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, according to Florida's WFOR-TV.

Evening News senior producer Richard Jefferson and 48 Hours producer-researcher Ryan Smith were beaten with a tire iron outside the Sunset Beach Bar by four men and two women who identified themselves as gay-bashers. The assailants had harassed the men earlier inside Bamboo Bernies nightclub, as well.

The victims, who had been on vacation, were taken to St. Maarten Medical Center, then air-lifted to Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Smith has a skull fracture and brain damage, and cannot speak properly. Jefferson suffered gashes on his head and back.

On April 14, Jefferson returned to St. Maarten to pursue justice.

'The longer this case goes unsolved the more harm the people of St. Maarten are inflicting upon themselves and the reputation of the island as a vacation spot,' he said, according to a Human Rights Campaign press release.

'Justice will only be achieved when residents realize that hiding vicious criminals will only cause further damage to the island's reputation.'

— Rex Wockner


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