Section One

April 29, 2005

Volume 33,
Issue 17

Sat, Feb 27, 2016


Two of Micah Painter’s attackers sentenced to 18 months
Two of Micah Painter’s attackers sentenced to 18 months
by Rober Raketty - SGN Staff Writer

King County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell sentenced two men in the brutal Gay bashing of Micah Painter, a 24-year-old Seattle resident, on Friday, April 22. David Kravchenko, 20, and Yevgeniy Savchak, 18, were both convicted last month of assault in the fourth degree with a deadly weapon enhancement. A third man, Vadim Samusenko, 21, has yet to be sentenced.

Ramsell characterized the men’s attack of Painter as being fueled by alcohol, testosterone and stupidity. He went on to sentence the two men to 364 days in jail on the assault charge and six months on the deadly weapon enhancement. A five and half month sentence on the malicious harassment charge is to be served concurrently.

Washington State’s malicious harassment law enhances the penalties for criminals convicted of acts of hate motivated violence. The law had been expanded to include sexual orientation in 1993. The King County Prosecutors Office had charged the three men with malicious harassment because they believed Painter was attacked because he was Gay.

The two men had faced deportation if they had been given a sentence of a year or longer. Ramsdell heard the pleas from defense attorneys and the judge reached a compromise. He said that based on his understanding of the immigration rules, the men would be allowed to stay in the United States despite his sentence. Samusenko is a U.S. citizen and does not face the possibility of deportation.

The prosecutor had sought first degree assault convictions against the Whatcom County men, but failed to convince all of the jurors that the charge was warranted. Instead Samusenko, the instigator of the attack, was found guilty of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. Kravchenko and Savchak were also found guilty of lesser charges.

Samusenko was also found guilty of a second charge of assault in the second degree for a separate incident that followed the attack on Painter. Richard Evans, who overheard the men bragging about an attack on a Gay man moments after the incident, had a gun pointed to his chest after Samusenko accused him of being a police officer.

Painter went to the Timberline Spirits, a popular Gay bar in Seattle, with his friend Donny Gallegos to celebrate Gay Pride weekend last June. He left the Timberline on June 27 at approximately 1:30 a.m. to walk to Gallegos’ car to get a change of clothes. Painter, who had become drenched with sweat from dancing, had taken off his shirt and planned to change his clothes in a vehicle with tinted windows.

Painter said he heard voices yelling derogatory remarks, such as “queer” and “faggot” coming from a truck approaching behind him. Samusenko asked if he was Gay. Painter returned the question by showing his middle finger. The verbal assault continued, and Painter made a masturbatory gesture in return.

Painter turned a corner and did not know that Samusenko had exited the truck and was planning to confront him with a glass vodka bottle. He again asked Painter if he was Gay. According to court papers, Painter replied, “Hell yes.” Then, Samusenko broke off the bottom of a vodka bottle and slashed him with the jagged edge. Kravchenko and Savchak later joined in the attack.

The incident galvanized the region’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and Seattle’s political leaders who decried the vicious nature of the attack. Several benefits where held to help Painter with medical bills and living expenses while he recovered from his injuries, which included bruises and deep cuts to his face and back.

Leslie Robinson

Madelyn Arnold

Paula Martinac