Four students will go to trial for their role in an anti-Semitic hate crime on Main Campus in February, a judge ruled during a preliminary hearing this morning.
David Scott, 20, Stephen Scott, 19, Bryan Pedreiro, 18, and Michael Walsh, 19, all Temple students, still face charges of ethnic intimidation and conspiracy, but Judge Nazario Jiminez, Jr. decreased the charge of aggravated assault to simple assault, a second-degree felony.
Jordan Blady, 23, victim of the alleged hate crime, took the stand to give his first public testimony in the case in the courtroom at the 22nd/23rd District at 17th Street and Montgomery Avenue.
Blady testified that after attending a party at Alpha Epsilon Pi, Temple’s Jewish-affiliated fraternity, the night of Feb. 15, he and his friend David Wise went to the pizza shop near 2012 Broad St. The Owl’s Nest is located at 2010 Broad St.
He said that upon leaving the pizza shop, he and Wise were approached and then surrounded by a group of five to ten males who asked if they were members of Alpha Epsilon Pi before hurling numerous anti-Semitic slurs.
Blady identified David Scott as the person who punched him in the face, causing a fractured nose, broken eye socket and deviated septum.
He also specifically identified Stephen Scott as one of the people who used racial slurs during the incident.
In addition to hospitalization and follow-up treatment for his injuries, Blady testified that he began to and continues to undergo psychiatric treatment as a result of the attack.
He said the attack frightened him after hearing his grandfather’s stories of being held prisoner during the Holocaust.
In his testimony, Wise, a non-Temple student who was present for the attack but left unharmed, corroborated Blady’s story. He identified David Scott as the “ringleader” of the group.
David Scott’s attorney, Fortunato Perri, argued in court that the attack was motivated by a prior assault on Scott’s younger brother, Stephen Scott, which allegedly took place at Alpha Epsilon Pi.
Both Blady and Wise said they were not involved in any fights at the fraternity earlier that evening.
In their closing arguments, Perri and prosecutor Christy Tuttle went head-to-head on the issues of ethnic intimidation and the aggravated assault charge.
Though Jiminez lowered the assault charge, he upheld the charges of conspiracy and ethnic intimidation, a felony in the third degree.
Outside the courtroom, Blady’s father told reporters that he and his family were very upset about the incident.
“He just happens to be a very good person,” he said of his son, who was set to graduate from Penn State Abington this semester and already had a job lined up.
“[He suffered] permanent injuries, and for what? Just because he’s Jewish,” he said.
Outside, Perri stressed to the media that the initial reason for the confrontation was a prior assault on Stephen Scott, which he said involved Blady and Wise.
Perri also said that he looks forward to presenting the defense’s evidence and bringing “nonbiased” witnesses to trial.
“Our witnesses said no one said anything about religion,” Perri said.
Anthony Petrone, Michael Walsh’s attorney, said he is confident that all conspiracy charges will be thrown out.
“We’re confident he’ll be completely exonerated,” he said.
The attorneys for Stephen Scott and Bryan Pedreiro did not comment, citing that Perri covered everything they would have to say.
The Scott brothers, Pedreiro and Walsh are scheduled to proceed to trial and will appear again in court May 20.
Morgan A. Zalot can be reached at email@example.com.