United States of America

Authorities decided Wednesday not to pursue hate crime charges in the kidnapping and weeklong torture of a black woman, instead going after the suspects, who are white, on state charges that carry stiffer penalties.

While federal civil rights or state hate crime charges remain an option, a state kidnapping count that carries a sentence of up to life in prison will provide the best chance for successful prosecution, officials said.

Six people face charges, including kidnapping, sexual assault and lying to police in the torture of Megan Williams, 20, at a remote hillside home in Big Creek.

State hate crime charges, which carry a sentence of 10 years, could come later, prosecutor Brian Abraham said. State sexual assault charges carry a penalty up to 35 years in prison.

The woman's captors forced her to eat rat droppings, choked her with a cable cord and stabbed her in the leg while calling her a racial slur, according to criminal complaints. They also poured hot water over her, made her drink from a toilet, and beat and sexually assaulted her during a span of about a week, the documents say.

All six remained in custody Wednesday in lieu of $100,000 cash bail each. Bobby Brewster is scheduled to appear before a Logan County Circuit Court judge on Monday to be arraigned on the kidnapping charge, according to court records. A date for his mother's appearance on the kidnapping charge has not yet been set.

Hate crimes --occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group, usually defined by race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation.

How is this not defined as a hate crime? If this type of behavior is being ignored in 2007, Imagine what can happen in the future if this is not handled properly now.

We, the undersigned, call on the NAACP, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III, the federal prosecutors of this case and America as a nation to recognize what is obviously being ignored.

These 6 individuals should be held without any bail. They should all be charged with committing a hate crime. If Megan Williams has to deal with what happened to her, why shouldn't they?

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The Support Megan Williams..This was a hate crime petition to America was written by Sondra C and is in the category Justice at GoPetition.