The first person prosecuted locally for committing a hate crime against a homosexual was sentenced Thursday to 60 days in County Jail, with a work furlough program recommended.
Bradley John Fowler, 22, the son of San Diego Sockers owner Ron Fowler, pleaded guilty Oct. 11 to interfering with the civil rights of a person because of his sexual orientation and to grand theft stemming from a Sept. 3 incident in Hillcrest.
Municipal Judge Charles Patrick also fined Fowler $260 and placed him on probation for three years.
If Fowler is accepted into the work furlough program, he will be able to leave the jail at 8 a.m. during the week, returning to jail at nights and on weekends.
Fowler's attorney, Craig Weinerman, urged the judge to impose no jail time and to instead order Fowler to do volunteer work with the AIDS Foundation San Diego.
"I think he's shown remorse. He's done things to help himself. He's engaged in counseling," Weinerman said.
Weinerman said Fowler had no criminal record and committed the offense for financial reasons, not because he harbors hatred against gays.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Dominic Dugo disagreed, saying: "We view this case as gay-bashing. That's what occurred."
Fowler approached the victim, a homosexual in his 20s, and said, "Give me your money, fag," Dugo said.
Two accomplices joined Fowler in kicking and beating the victim, who suffered minor injuries, the prosecutor said.
The victim called police, and Fowler and the two others were arrested. Dugo said the three made anti-gay remarks and laughed during the initial contact with police.