Two men were charged with committing a hate crime and attempted first-degree murder after beating up a gay college student in Brazil.
Andre Baliera, a 27-year-old law student from Sao Paulo, was attacked by two men on Monday, Dec. 3 while he was returning home from school, Brazilian newspaper O Globo reports.
The assault started after the two men repeatedly called Baliera a “faggot.” When Baliera told them to stop, the men proceeded to punch him.
Residents who were witnessing the incident came to Baliera’s aid and apprehended the men, who could face fines of up to $ 24,632 and jail time.
For their part, the men denied the attack was based on the victim’s sexual orientation.
The attack made international headlines after Baliera took to YouTube to explain the incident, which some Brazilian journalists reported as if Baliera had provoked, Queerty clarifies.
The video garnered over 240,000 views, and 3,200 comments since Baliera posted it on Dec. 5.
“To be honest, it’s never been easy to be gay in our [Brazilian] society,” he says in the clip. “I’ve been part of a movement against homophobia… and today I am on the other side, as a victim,” Baliera says in the clip according to Queerty’s translation.
“‘I still am afraid to leave the house. I haven’t left home alone [since the attack]. ‘We have to make it stop… I don’t want to have to pretend that I am not who I am to be able to return home safely.”