It was an attack on a homeless man that gained extra media attention when authorities said the accused assailants were heard saying, “Donald Trump was right,” as they beat the man with a metal pipe and then urinated on him.
The men were sentenced to state prison Monday after pleading guilty to beating the homeless man in Boston on August 19, 2015, because they believed him to be an illegal immigrant, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
“All these illegals need to be deported,” they allegedly said, as they beat the man as he slept near the JFK/UMass MBTA subway station about 12:30 a.m.
The man was treated for a broken nose and serious bruising across his ribs, among other injuries, according to a statement issued at the time from the district attorney’s office.
Scott Leader, 38, and his brother, Steve Leader, 30 of South Boston pleaded guilty to indictments charging them with causing bodily injury while committing a civil rights violation, assault and battery for purposes of intimidation causing bodily injury, two counts each of assault and battery, and two counts each of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Assistant District Attorney Nicole Rimar had recommended Scott Leader serve four to six years in state prison followed by probation and that Steven Leader serve three to four years in state prison followed by probation. Judge Peter Krupp imposed lighter sentences of three years for Scott Leader and 2½ years for Steven Leader. Both sentences are to be followed by three years of probation, with the first year served at a sober house in addition to 20 hours of community service and a cultural diversity training program if one exists.
Throughout the Republican presidential race, Trump has made headlines with his controversial immigration proposals, which include building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, revoking citizenship of babies born in the United States to undocumented parents and deporting undocumented immigrants.
During a press conference soon after the attack, Trump said that while he hadn’t heard about the Boston incident, it would “be a shame.” He went on to applaud those who echo his views.
“I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate,” Trump said. “They love this country, they want this country to be great again.”
On August 21, Trump tweeted that the incident was “terrible.”
“We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect,” he said.
“This unprovoked attack on a sleeping man disgusted every prosecutor, victim advocate, and trooper who worked on it,” Conley said. “State prison was the only appropriate sentence.”
“I still feel pain all over my body from this incident,” the victim, then 58, wrote in a prepared statement read by the prosecutor, “I don’t think my fingers will ever be the same. I came to this country many years ago and worked hard in the farm fields to provide produce to people here. I actually became a permanent resident of this country years ago, although if I had been undocumented I still would not have deserved to be beaten this way.”
Emails to the Leaders’ lawyers were not immediately returned Monday night.