Suspect Sisters Allegedly Target Gay Couple - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Suspect Sisters Allegedly Target Gay Couple

St. Albans, Vermont - October 3, 2007

Bob Driver and Dalton Flint made a disturbing discovery in the driveway to where they live in St. Albans.

"When I walked outside, I was in such disbelief that this actually took place," said Driver.

Vandals targeted both of their vehicles.  They slashed tires and spray painted vulgar and threatening words all over them. It's a crime police say was motivated by hate. The men are gay and have a civil union.

Trooper Jay Riggen says he was shocked by what he saw.  "It makes it that much worse and disturbing for the community here," he said.

But police say the hate crime was not random. The accused, 18-year-Old Meghan Gaboury and her 16-year-old sister, Melissa, are related to the victims.

Inside the sisters SUV police say they found the paint and knife used in the crime.

The men recently moved into a house owned by Driver's 86-year-old grandmother. They're renovating an apartment inside and plan to rent the place so Driver can be closer to his grandmother and help her take care of the home.

"It was degrading, humiliating, and an invalidation of who we are as a couple and our lives," said Driver.

Flint added," my initial response was anger then fear and then disappointment."

The accused sisters were evicted from the apartment by their great grandmother after reportedly trashing the place. Police say that combined with their hatred for homosexuals led to the crime.

"In speaking with them, they have a disdain for this and that's aggravated by their negative interactions with the victims," said Trooper Riggen. "Referring to the homosexual population in very derogatory terms. You get a sense from them they are filled with a certain level of disgust."

"This had escalated over the summer, first verbal, then on property, now vandalize cars.  My whole thought is what's next?" wondered Flint.

"We can't feel threatened anymore. We can't live our lives like this.  In fear," said Driver.

Police and the family say the suspects sisters have repeatedly harassed, made threatening and derogatory remarks to the victims for months now. At one point -- they're even alleged to have stolen a family dog out of spite. It has since been returned.

The younger sister, Melissa Gaboury, has been formally charged. She was in court on Wednesday. Meghan Gaboury reportedly checked herself into a rehab center.  Her family says that was an effort to avoid arrest. But Wednesday evening, we learned she was cited into court and is expected to be arraigned Thursday morning.

Darren Perron - WCAX News

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