Perhaps we need a new surgeon general's warning: "Caution: Having one's head repeatedly bounced off the fists of a horde of large, angry, drunken men may cause muddled statements." ---
OK--yes, it is Bell who is on trial and not his assailants (who have yet to be held accountable for the attack).
But, let's be clear here: The fact that Bell was beaten amid homophobic slurs reveals the mindset of the neighbors and their partygoing friends. Bell's accusers did not stop to find out whether or not any harm had befallen the children; just the fact that Bell is gay was (and is) enough to convict him in their minds as they executed their special brand of justice.
Since the investigation relies on the statements of the accusers, isn't the possibility that they may have leapt to the wrong conclusion somewhat relevant to the case?
Looks like it's open season on homosexuals. All you've got to do is accuse one of a crime involving a child, and let the fists and household appliances fly! Don't worry about "assault laws"--they don't apply when the victim is a faggot.