Kathryn Knott, Suburban Police Chief's Daughter, Gets Parole in Center City Attack on Gay Couple, Will Leave Jail

The daughter of a suburban Philadelphia police chief left jail Tuesday after serving about half of the maximum sentence for her role in the beating of a gay couple in Center City.

Kathryn Knott left Philadelphia jail Tuesday afternoon after Judge Roxanne Covington granted the 25-year-old parole in the 2014 beating, said court officials. In Feb., Knott received a 5- to 10-month sentence. In total she wound up serving about five months.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said the victims were made aware of Knott's parole and didn't object to it.

"I know that no amount of punishment or jail time can make what happened in Center City Philadelphia go away for the two victims in this case, the LGBT community and the City of Philadelphia," said Williams in a news release. "But I also know that there is no legal proceeding that will bring fundamental equality and respect to all of our citizens; regardless of their race, gender, economic status or sexual orientation.

"Was what Kathryn Knott and her fellow defendants did ugly and deplorable? Yes, it was. Do we need to keep fighting for equality and respect? Yes, we do. So, let’s use today’s proceedings as an opportunity to keep pushing forward and to make our neighborhoods and city a better place to live, love and work."

A judge earlier refused to cut Knott's jail sentence after finding "a complete disconnect" between her apology and the seriousness of the crime.

Knott was found guilty of simple assault and other misdemeanors. Two male co-defendants — one of whom left a victim with a broken jaw — got probation, but the judge noted that Knott rejected a plea offer designed to spare the victims the ordeal of a trial.

The attack broke out as Knott and nearly a dozen suburban friends left a birthday dinner in downtown Philadelphia and encountered the victims as they walked to get pizza in September 2014. The defendants hurled slurs at the couple before punching and beating them.

Knott's co-defendants insisted the brawl did not stem from any anti-gay sentiments.

But Knott's prior social media posts showed an antagonism toward gays, non-English speakers and even patients at the hospital where she worked. News coverage of the posts cost her that job.

The attack led the city to add sexual orientation to its hate crime laws.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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