Five teens to be prosecuted for assaulting gay couple in Arnhem

Five boys between the ages of 14 and 16 years will be prosecuted for assaulting a gay couple in Arnhem earlier this year, the Public Prosecutor announced on Wednesday. The exact charges against them will be revealed soon. The teenagers have to appear in juvenile court on December 19th, ANP reports.

As the suspects are underage, their trial will largely be held behind closed doors. All five boys are from Arnhem.

The victims, Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes, were walking across the Nelson Mandela Bridge early on Sunday, April 2nd, when a group of 6 to 8 teenagers cycled up to them and attacked them. One of the men was hit with a bolt cutter and lost four teeth. According to the couple, the teens attacked them because they were walking hand in hand.

Some of the suspects told the police that the couple started the confrontation. However, none of the boys pressed charges against the men. 

The teens were arrested the same day as the assault, and released from custody a few days later. The magistrate concluded that there is little chance of repetition. Their age also played a part in the decision.

The assault attracted a lot of attention across the Netherlands. Many, including a number of politicians, protested by walking hand in hand with someone of the same sex.