DA using state’s hate crime law to charge those accused of injuring 12-year-old in viral video

ATLANTA — Fulton County’s district attorney is using the state’s new hate crime law to add more charges to a cruelty-to-children case.

State lawmakers at the capitol passed the hate crime law in January, and District Attorney Fani Willis has already used the new law twice.

She told Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston if you commit a crime based on someone’s race, gender or sexual orientation, you will pay the price.

”You should not be mistreated because of factors that have nothing to do with the way God made you,” Willis said.

That’s why she added the Georgia hate crime law to three suspects that court documents show berated, slapped and cut the word gay into a 12-year-old’s head after the pre-teen said they were transgender.


The suspects are friends and family members.

“To be rejected by your brother, and more importantly your mother, because of a life choice you’re making is horrible,” Willis said.

She told Huddleston that the suspects posted the entire assault on social media. They’re charged with cruelty to children in the first degree and simple battery.

She said with the hate crime statute, she can add more prison time to a sentence. “We’re going to make sure the jury knows how hateful your conduct was,” Willis said.

After his child had identified as transgender, Peter Isbister started a local Trans-parent USA support group.

“Parents in our group have kids all the way from 5 to 35,” Isbister said.

He told Huddleston that people don’t have to agree with your child, but having others to talk with can help.

“Looking for support and looking for answers means that that parent is engaged for their own well-being and the well-being of their kid. And if that’s a longer, bumpier road. That’s fine,” Isbister said.

Willis was the first prosecutor to use the state’s hate crime case against Robert Aaron Long, the suspect accused of killing four Asian women at an Atlanta massage parlor.