Man pleads guilty to hate crime at NYC gay bar

The News Leader

February 15, 2011 4:32:09 PM PST
A man accused of spitting anti-gay and racist insults while attacking a patron at one of New York City's oldest gay bars has pleaded guilty to assault as a hate crime and other charges.

Frederick Giunta entered his plea Tuesday in the October attack at Julius. It occurred at a Manhattan tavern where a 1966 "sip-in" marked an early moment in the gay-rights movement.

The 45-year-old Giunta is expected to receive a 3 1/2-year prison sentence.

His lawyer, Hershel Katz, says Giunta's behavior stemmed from drunkenness, not malice.

Police say the victim was trying to defuse a dispute between Giunta and another customer when Giunta hit the victim in the face and used the epithets.

Giunta also pleaded guilty to attempted robbery for grabbing at a man's wallet at another bar.