Salt Lake City, UT -- Today,
the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office filed a Class A misdemeanor and
a Class B misdemeanor assault charge against Eric Levi Johnson and Chad Ryan
Doak for the Dec. 21, 2014 assault against two men in Salt Lake City. As
outlined in more detail in the attached statement of probable cause, it is
alleged that as Rusty Andrade and Maxwell Christen walked home, the
Defendants attacked Mr. Andrade and Mr. Christen and yelled homophobic slurs
at the men.
The charges in this case reflect the alleged
physical injuries sustained by the victims. But the law does not provide
a means to capture the full measure of the alleged harm to the victims and the
Under current Utah law, committing a crime against
a person because of his or her sexual orientation is not a hate crime.
Similarly, under current Utah State law, it is not a hate crime to assault
someone because of their religion, race, ethnicity, etc. Also, even
if these allegations constituted a hate crime, current law provides for an
assault to be enhanced only up to a Class A misdemeanor. Since the
allegations in this case already rise to the level of a Class A misdemeanor,
any hate crime enhancement under the law cannot be applied and would have no
Consequently, the District Attorney’s Office has
charged the defendants with offenses under the law it believes are supported by
probable cause and have a reasonable likelihood of success at trial.
All persons accused of a crime are presumed innocent
unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
See attached statement of probable cause for more