Man charged for attack on gay teen

Trevon Godbolt appeared in court on Nov. 8, 2017.

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — An 18-year-old Muskegon man is facing multiple charges in connection to the beating and robbery of a teenager in Muskegon Heights Saturday.

Authorities say Trevon Godbolt stripped and beat the victim during a robbery. The victim was targeted because he is gay, authorities said.

Godbolt was charged with unarmed robbery and unlawful imprisonment. He pleaded not guilty.

Muskegon Heights officers went to the scene around 8 p.m. Saturday after receiving reports of a naked male in the area of Edgewood School at East Summit Avenue and Howden Street. Police said the victim was lured to that area, where the beating happened.

According to the criminal complaint filed in court, the suspect restrained the victim while he took his cellphone and clothes.

Muskegon Heights Police Chief Joseph Thomas Jr. told 24 Hour News 8 the attack on the teen was recorded and posted on Facebook. Police determined from audio of that recording that the victim was beaten because of his sexuality. In the video, the attacker can be heard calling the victim gay and using the N-word and another expletive as he punched the victim. Police said the video was used to identify Godbolt as the suspect.

Godbolt was arrested Tuesday night based on a tip from Silent Observer. He is being held on a $250,000 bond based on the seriousness of the case.

The prosecutor’s office says it also considered a felony charge of ethnic intimidation against Godbolt, but determined current guidelines for the charge do not include crimes based on sexual orientation. Last year, a Senate bill that would have incorporated sexual orientation into the charge never made it out of committee.

Godbolt’s bond was set at $250,000 due to the seriousness of the case. A preliminary exam is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Nov. 21.