A judge sentenced an Ohio man, who was in charge of taking care of his younger disabled brother, with two-and-a-half years in prison Monday after threatening to castrate and "beat the gay" out of his sibling, the Lancaster Eagle Gazette reports.
Lawrence Featheroff, 38, was sentenced to prison after threatening and beating his 26-year-old handicapped brother, claiming his attacks would turn him straight.
The victim suffers from a developmental disorder and Featheroff, who admitted to hitting and threatening his brother, was in charge of taking care of him even though he had prior convictions for domestic violence.
A concerned sibling called police earlier this year and said they were concerned he was being physically abused when they checked in on him in January. They said he had a concussion, a sprained ankle and bruises on his face.
The victim confessed to police that Featheroff, his girlfriend Jamie Smith and family friend Brent Disbennet, punched him repeatedly, starved him and made him run up and down a hill carrying a heavy railroad tie. The family said in court, however, that it wasn’t abuse but military drills, which were meant to be a form of exercise because they wanted the victim to be in shape.
Featheroff also threatened his younger brother with a knife, saying he would cut off his genitals.
"He was beating him in the face, holding a knife to his throat and holding a knife to his genitalia," Lowe testified.
Featheroff told police he was upset because the 26-year-old told him that he was attracted to other men, according to Gay Star News, who identifies the victim as Jason Meyers.
Lancaster Police Detective Brian Lowe, who investigated the case, said the victim was scared but "happy that he was safe from them" once Featheroff and the others were arrested in January.
Lowe also said that it was clear the abuse was triggered by the victim’s sexual orientation and behavioral problems.
"(Featheroff) wanted to toughen him up and push the gay out of him," Lowe said, according to the newspaper.
The victim is now in the care of an adult foster home, but one of his sisters wants to take him in.
A similar incident was reported earlier this month when Ronald Paton, 50, stood trial for allegedly using anti-gay slurs towards a 63-year-old lesbian woman in 2012 before he tried to rape her, dislocating her hip in the process, because he thought it would "cure" her of being gay.
Also this month, a jury convicted Jessica Dutro of murdering her 4-year-old son because she thought he was gay.
Additionally, last year Mary Gowans, a mother of two from North Carolina, was charged with a misdemeanor of child abuse for telling her son to "beat the gay away" out of his brother before attacking the 15-year-old herself.
She allegedly made the teen strip to his underwear and beat him with a belt across his body, telling him that she was trying to "beat the gay out of him."