3,000 Euro Fine Issued for a Hate-motivated Crime against an Openly Gay Man

The Lithuanian courts have issued a verdict on the criminal case of Laurynas Baltrūnas. Ruslanas Kirilkinas, an openly gay performer, pressed charges against Mr. Baltrūnas, who launched a homophobic attack against the singer, pelting him with eggs during a performance. Although Mr. Baltrūnas has successfully evaded imprisonment for his offenses, the courts are requiring him to make financial reparations to the victim for the emotional damage and costly legal expenditures that Mr. Kirilkinas has suffered from as a result.

Mr. Baltrūnas has been convicted of criminal offenses and was sentenced for publically harassing a man based on his sexual orientation, showing disrespect for others and his surroundings through vandalism and mockery, and disrupting the public peace and order.

Although Mr. Baltrūnas’s crimes are punishable by six- and four-month prison sentences according to Part 2 of Article 170 and Part 1 of Article 284 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania, respectively, the courts are not requiring the offender to do so.

Mr. Baltrūnas must pay 3,000 euros for the emotional damage he inflicted upon Mr. Kirilkinas and an additional 350 euros to cover the victim’s legal fees.

Implementing the project “Building LGL’s Capacity in Assisting Victims of Hate Crimes and Hate Motivated Incidents”, supported by the US State Department, Freedom House and ILGA-Europe, the national LGBT* rights organization LGL financially sponsored this strategically important case and has been monitoring the trial’s progression. LGL’s primary intention was to contribute to the formation of law practice whereby the motive of a hate crime is considered in investigating similar cases and prosecuting the guilty parties. We hope that the successful conclusion of this case will encourage members of the LGBT* community to have the courage to seek help and take advantage of existing legal resources to fight hatred, violence, and discrimination of all forms.

The singer Kirilkinas has reached fame through participating in various television singing contests and semi-finals for the Lithuanian Eurovision candidate.