Two teenage boys are accused of damaging a Spokane Valley teenager's property because he is gay.
Andrey A. Babakov, 17; and Svitoslav A. Liashedko, 16; pleaded not guilty Monday to first-degree burglary, second-degree theft and malicious harassment - a hate crime - for an alleged attack Nov. 6 at an apartment at 13303 E. Mission Ave.
The teens are accused of breaking into the apartment and stealing an iPod and laptop computer. Svitoslav told deputies they assaulted the victim because he is gay, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies saw blood inside and outside the victim's home, as well as blood on his face, nose, neck and clothes. The boy told deputies Babakov and Liashedko assaulted him because he got his ears pierced and “no Russian should pierce their ears,” according to court documents.
The boys were charged as adults in Spokane County Superior Court. The newspaper does not identify juveniles unless they are charged as adults with serious felonies.
Neither suspect is in custody. Trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 27.