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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A judge has refused to downgrade charges against three people accused of beating a gay couple on a Philadelphia street in September.

KYW-AM reports ( ) that a judge made the ruling on the defense requests Thursday.

Twenty-four-year-old Philip Williams, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott and 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan were held for trial in December on all counts, including aggravated assault.

One of the accusers testified that Harrigan used slurs to ask if he and his partner were gay and the dispute got physical.

Harrigan's attorney, Joshua Scarpello, acknowledges that his client exchanged anti-gay slurs, but he argues that it was the accusers who escalated it.

Knott's attorney says one of the victims wasn't sure there was contact with her. Williams' lawyer says his client was just helping a friend.