01/14/2013 06:26 EST | Updated 03/16/2013 05:12 EDT

B.C. 'Gay Bashing' Results In Not Guilty Verdict

Vancouver Police
Two brothers have been found not guilty of assaulting two men in Vancouver in an attack that had been characterized as a gay bashing.

Parminder and Ravinder Bassi, of Richmond, B.C., were each charged with assault causing bodily harm following a June 2010 attack on two men.

The victims were returning home and encountered two men outside their Keefer Street residence, one of whom was urinating on the side of the building.

In the argument that followed, the alleged victims, David Holtzman and Peter Regier, were punched several times and subjected to a barrage of homophobic slurs. Regier needed staples to close a wound in his head while Holtzman reported suffering short-term visual impairment as a result of the attack.

The assailants fled the scene and police later released surveillance camera images of two men matching the description of the the attackers running on a nearby street.

Police arrested the Bassi brothers about two weeks after the incident.

The judge, who heard the case without a jury, said in his decision that there's no doubt an assault took place, but it was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the Bassi brothers were the attackers.

Michael Klein, Parminder Bassi's lawyer, said identification of the assailants was key to the acquittal.

"People are very convinced about what they saw, but that doesn't necessarily mean that what they saw was accurate and that's the essence of the judgement today," Klein said.

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