Anchorage police investigate rape as hate crime

Posted: Sunday, July 13, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) Anchorage police are investigating the beating and rape of a 17-year-old girl as a hate crime.

The girl was attacked by a group of men in a field. Police said the men reportedly made comments about race to the victim when they raped her.

The victim, who is white, described the two men who raped her as Native, court records show. She could not provide a good description of a third man, who acted as a lookout, police said.

The assault took place just before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The victim was repeatedly punched in the face. During the assault, she managed to get away and ran to a passing patrol car.

The police officer, Leonard Torres, captured one of the men, Thomas Francis Leichty, 25, who is was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault.

Leichty told police that his friend ''Shorty'' was the one who punched the girl and raped her. He also told police Shorty threatened to kill the girl, charging documents say.

Police said they are looking for Patrick Leo Shorty, 33. He is about 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds, police said.

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