Charges Dropped In Hate-Crime Case

All charges were dropped yesterday against one of the two defendants charged with verbally and physically abusing an openly gay Harvard undergraduate, more than a year after the incident took place.

Jose T. Sousa, 26, of Cambridge, had earlier pled not guilty to charges of intent to intimidate stemming from an incident that took place outside Adams House in April 2005. And in Middlesex District Court yesterday, Assistant District Attorney Jessica Noble successfully lobbied the judge to dismiss charges against Sousa.

Timothy J. Kelleher—the other defendant in the case and the individual suspected of actually striking the victim—was also present yesterday in court, where he was scheduled to face a jury on charges of assault and battery with intent to intimidate.

But his trial was postponed and is scheduled to begin today at 9:15 a.m., according to Middlesex D.A. spokeswoman Kathryn Norton.

The victim of the alleged attack, Galo Garcia III ’05, says that as he walked on Bow Street to a Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Supporters Alliance (BGLTSA) party in Adams House April 30, 2005, he was accosted by two white men who had been looking for a parking space.

According to Garcia, the defendants began yelling homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs at him, calling him a “faggot Jew.”

According to court reports, Garcia told police that night that he then started yelling at the defendants as he approached their car, calling them “assholes.” But when Garcia was two to six feet away, Kelleher allegedly exited his vehicle and struck Garcia repeatedly in the chest and the head.

Garcia sustained bruises on his upper left chest and above his temple, according to the Harvard University Police Department report.

Garcia was present yesterday outside the courtroom, but declined to comment before the outcome of Kelleher’s jury trial.

Neither Kelleher, Sousa, nor any of their lawyers would comment yesterday when approached outside the courtroom.

This past June, Kelleher filed a counter-complaint against Garcia, in which he claimed that he was actually assaulted by Garcia. Kelleher said that Garcia, along with his friends, was blocking the crosswalk and flipped Kelleher the middle finger after he honked.

The judge, however, dismissed Kelleher’s case.

—Staff writer Reed B. Rayman can be reached at rrayman@fas.harvard.edu.