On New Year’s Eve of 2013, Luke O’Donovan attended a house party in Reynoldstown, a neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia. Luke was seen dancing with and kissing other men at the party. Later in the night he was insulted with homophobic slurs, and attacked by several people at once. Luke unsuccessfully attempted to escape, at which point several witnesses reported watching between 5 and 12 men ganging-up on Luke and stomping on his head and body, evidently with the intent to kill him. Luke was called a faggot before and during the attack. Throughout the course of the attack, Luke and five others were stabbed. Luke was subsequently imprisoned and charged with five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as one count of attempted murder. He spent two and a half weeks in jail without bond before being released under bond conditions that drastically affected his life. None of the other individuals involved in the altercation were charged.
Luke is a young queer man previously residing in metro Atlanta. At the time of his arrest, Luke was a student at Georgia Gwinnett College and planned on transferring to Georgia State University — a plan he subsequently had to abandon because of legal fees, medical costs, and bond conditions. The conditions of Luke’s bond caused him to move out of the house he was staying in, as well as preventing him from interacting with a large section of his community in Northeast Atlanta.
Luke’s trial concluded on August 12, 2014, when he accepted a plea deal. The negotiated deal was as follows: Luke will be in the Georgia prison system for 2 years beginning on August 12, after which he will begin eight years of harsh probation. At the time of sentencing, the judge added to the negotiated plea that Luke will be banished from the state of Georgia for the eight years of his probation.