Accused of attacking several local goths, James Eric Benham was sentenced in late November for two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of assault. Victim James Howard of the Gothic Volunteer Alliance says the Navy enlistee called him a “gothic faggot” before attacking him and Mark and Lora Williams.
Though Benham received 365 days in county jail, only 37 days will be served behind bars. According to Howard, “The remaining time, he is going to be on work furlough, where, by day, he will continue to work in the U.S. Navy as some sort of...clerk. He will not be permitted the use of a firearm or be placed back into the core combat unit [or] squad. At night, he will return to sleep in jail. He will have no weekends or day passes.”
The reason behind 37 days of hard time is that Benham only has that much administrative leave from the Navy.
“How a convicted two-count felon can [remain in the Navy], I am unsure of,” says Howard. “As further condition of the sentencing and rehabilitation, he will continue to undergo psychiatric treatment and evaluation from two doctors. He is required to attend cultural sensitivity classes exploring relations to interracial exposure, intercultural exposure, and intersexual orientation exposure.”
Howard says his injuries resulted in over $25,000 in medical bills. Restitution proceedings will be held on January 14.
— Jay Allen Sanford