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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
September 30, 2005

Second jailed Central State student pleads no contest

Xenia, Ohio--The second of two gay students jailed after protesting an anti-gay skit at Central State University disposed of his case September 20 with a �no contest� plea, thereby avoiding additional jail time.

Anthony Cathey, 19, of Chicago, was arrested with his friend Yahieness Dixon of Mansfield on June 9 after the two turned off the theater lights on an anti-gay skit being performed by members of fraternities and sororities.

Cathey spent about a month in jail and Dixon was jailed for two months.

The skit, which was part of a larger program called �CSU, We Have a Problem!� portrayed two men dressed as women trying to join a sorority, while displaying stereotypical effeminate mannerisms. It had been approved by the university.

Though the lights were not out long, a melee erupted backstage and in the theater of 500. The event�s organizer, Tygene Trammell, a senior and president of the Pan Hellenic Council, was videotaped forcing an unknown student to the ground by leaping on his back. Dixon was treated for injuries from being jumped by other students.

However, only the gay students, Dixon and Cathey, were jailed.

Trammell was charged with assault, but those charges were dropped immediately before his trial.

Other students, according to Dean of Students Al West, were disciplined by �school judicial proceedings.�

Cathey remained in the Greene County jail for 28 days until he was freed due to lack of space. He was charged with disturbing a lawful meeting and inciting to violence.

According to his attorney Joseph Coates of Fairborn, the plea deal allowed Cathey to be sentenced to time served and $247 court costs, provided he has no further incidents with the law for five years.

Had he been found guilty on both charges, he could have been sentenced to more than a year in jail.

Cathey is not returning to Central State.

Dixon has returned to the school following an August 10 deal with the prosecutor.

Dixon, 22, was released from jail that day. In addition to charges of disturbing a lawful meeting and inciting to violence, he also faced assault charges.

Dixon pleaded no contest to inciting to violence and was sentenced to time served and $201 court costs. He had faced up to 18 months in jail.

No one at the school would say why the gay students were the only ones jailed after the June 9 incident.

Eternal Joy Metropolitan Community Church of Dayton and other LGBT organizations invited Dixon and other gay students to an August dinner celebrating his release from jail, and to talk about improving the environment for LGBT students.

Dixon and Cathey said LGBT Central State students are subject to harassment and sometimes violence.

From jail, Dixon said of the school�s �zero tolerance� policy on harassment, �If they enforced it like they enforce the no-hat rule in the cafeteria, we�d all be better off.�

 

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