Two Atlanta men pleaded guilty in Federal Court on Thursday for beating a man because of his sexual orientation.
Authorities say back on February 4, 2012, three members of the Jack City street gang targeted and attacked a 20-year-old gay man as he left a grocery store in Atlanta's Pittsburgh neighborhood.
Christopher Cain, 19, is accused of punching the victim in the head and then pushing him to the ground.
"The FBI remains committed to ensuring the civil rights of all individuals, to include those singled out and attacked because of their perceived differences," says Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge in the FBI Atlanta Field Office.
Cain, along with 21-year-old Dorian Moragne, along with a juvenile, surrounded the victim and repeatedly punched and kicked him while they yelled anti-gay epithets.
Moragne then reportedly picked up a tire and struck the victim.
They also stole the victim's cell phone.
A fourth person recorded the assault, using a cell phone and posted the video footage to the Internet.
Cain and Moragne both admitted to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which criminalizes certain acts of violence motivated by a victim's race, color, religion or sexual orientation.
"Violence against another person because of his or her sexual orientation has no place in our civilized society," said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
Last year, all three defendants, who were considered an adult under Georgia law, were prosecuted in Fulton County Superior Court for offenses that did not include a hate crime.
Thursday's convictions are the first in the state of Georgia for violations of the Sexual Orientation Section of the Federal Hate Crimes Law.
Cain and Moragne have been sentenced to ten years in prison.
"Hate-fueld violence will not be condoned," said Roy L. Austin Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department will use all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal to investigate and prosecute hate crimes."