MISSOULA, August 9, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – In yet another example of an alleged “hate crime” unraveling, a young homosexual whose tale of abuse became a national issue has admitted he made the whole thing up.
Joseph Baken admitted in court today that he had perpetrated a hoax by telling police three men had beaten him because he was homosexual, lacerating his face.
Baken initially said he entered the Missoula Club last Saturday to celebrate his 22nd birthday, announced he was gay, and asked for directions to a gay bar. He called the police three hours later, at 4:30 a.m, saying a man had lured him outside to smoke a cigarette, where two other men joined him beating Baken and called him a “f—-ot.”
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The website WipeOutHomophobia.com announced its immediate support for the young man. Within hours, the Facebook post showing his bruised face had garnered nearly half-a-million “likes.” The Huffington Post soon introduced “Joseph” to a national constituency.
State Representative Ellie Hill, D-Missoula, seized upon the attack to suggest sexual orientation be added to Montana’s hate crimes law, vowing to introduce the bill in January. “What occurred over the weekend in Missoula evidences” the need for such a law, she said.
However, video promptly surfaced showing Baken doing a backflip on a paved street, shortly after a cameraman said he had “a sexy belly.” The film captured Baken hurtling down toward the curb, and then smacking his face in the areas that appear bruised in the photograph.
On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to filing a false police report. A judge suspended a 180-day jail sentence and ordered him to pay a $300 fine.
Jeff Laszloffy, president and CEO of the Montana Family Foundation, told LifeSiteNews.com hate crimes hoaxes are “becoming a habit with these folks. You’ve got several instances now in Montana where the gay community has claimed discrimination, only to find out through investigation that it…was absolutely a lie.”
Montana has become “jaded” after false reports, he said. Executive Director of AIDS Outreach D. Gregory Smith said he thought the tall tale “may have set things back a bit.” He added he was “also really worried about the kid who reported the whole thing. I’m worried that this will ruin his life.”
The phony police report is another of a growing trend of self-inflicted “hate crimes” or purported intolerance later proven to be a ruse.
Earlier this year, Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) held a “solidarity rally” on behalf of 19-year-old Alexandra Pennell, a lesbian allegedly receiving hate notes. Officials later discovered she planted the notes herself.
In May, police charged a lesbian couple in Colorado with writing “Kill the Gay” on their own garage.
A substantial number of hate crimes hoaxes take place each year, whether on sexual or racial grounds.
Authorities say they pressed charges against Baken in part because of the fear his charges generated.
Laszloffy told LifeSiteNews.com the incident further underscores that it is unnecessary to grant homosexuals special rights under the law.
Missoula, the city where the purported assault took place, already had an anti-discrimination statute on the books that included LGBT citizens.
“We claimed at the time that it was wasn’t necessary, because we don’t have problems with discrimination, and we’re proven out, because nobody’s ever been charged with a hate crime or a discrimination claim since that law was passed,” Laszloffy said.
“People are tolerant in Montana, and so they’re having to gin up excuses to get these laws passed.”