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2 Ky. men acquitted under anti-gay hate crime law

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BRETT BARROUQUERE | October 25, 2012 06:26 AM EST | AP


LONDON, Ky. — A Kentucky jury has acquitted two men of hate crimes in the first case to be prosecuted under a new federal law against anti-gay violence.

The jury did find the two cousins guilty of kidnapping in an attack on a gay man at a state park last year.

Prosecutors had argued that Anthony Ray Jenkins and his cousin David Jason Jenkins attacked Kevin Pennington because of Pennington's sexual orientation. They said that violated a hate crime law that was expanded in 2009 to cover assaults motivated by bias against gays, lesbians and transgender people.

It was not clear why jurors late Wednesday rejected that argument. They were whisked away immediately after delivering the verdicts and did not make any comments.

Prosecutors said they would issue a statement later.