The Rock Hill Herald reports on a strange ending to the saga of Joshua Esskew, who was a victim last year of a brutal anti-gay bashing outside of a Rock Hill, S.C., gas station.

From the paper:

 There was no rally for gay rights, or outrage over a gay man being beaten up in an alleged hate crime.

In a courtroom at the Moss Justice Center Monday, there was just a 21-year-old Rock Hill man who was beaten unconscious in April 2011 outside a Rock Hill convenience store – a beating that was captured on videotape and went viral online.

But Joshua Esskew was not in court as the victim of that horrible crime. On Monday, he was the defendant. Again.

The paper reports that this court appearance was Esskew’s second, stemming from a charge of illegally obtaining prescription drugs. Previously, he had been found guilty of credit card fraud and put on probation which was revoked when Esskew failed to check in with his probation officer several times.

As of Monday, Esskew had been in jail for 209 days. The Rock Hill Herald reports the judge sentenced him to time served in the drug case, a time significantly longer than many of his attackers faced after the 2011 gas station attack.

Esskew’s mother says she hopes her son can get back on the right track. From the paper:

“Thank God,” Jennifer Esskew said after her son’s hearing. “Maybe now he can be left alone. This has been horrible for everybody.”

She believes the beating her son took back in 2011 could be blamed for a lot of the trouble he got into afterward.

The gas station beating was never mentioned in court on Monday, according to the paper.

Be sure to read the full report from reporter Andrew Dys at The Rock Hill Herald

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.