Arguing that a young gay man was charged with assault when he was really the victim of a hate crime, about 30 people gathered at the steps of the St. Louis County Courthouse on Saturday to demand that the charges against him be dropped.
The rally, staged by OutFront Minnesota, an advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, sought to pressure St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin to drop fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct charges against Max Pelofske, 21, of Duluth. The group also wants disorderly conduct charges dropped against his friend Kelly Johnson, 21, of Saginaw. All of the charges are misdemeanors.
“This is the first time I have ever seen the victim of a hate crime be charged at the same degree as the perpetrators,” said Rebecca Waggoner, anti-violence program director for OutFront Minnesota, in an interview on Friday.