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Inmates attack a child molester

5-26-2007 Michigan:

Battle in courthouse lockup lands offender in hospital

Minutes after being sentenced Friday, a Detroit man who made national headlines for molesting boys he'd met on the Internet was assaulted inside a Wayne County courthouse lockup, resulting in hospitalization.

Ken Gourlay, 29, was sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison on 13 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 14-year-old boy, who is now 16 and lives with a foster mother in Harper Woods. Gourlay molested the boy from December 2004 to May 2005.

Gourlay made national headlines last year in a sexual assault of a California teen who he met on the Internet and lured to Michigan. That case was highlighted by the New York Times and resulted in congressional hearings in which his victim testified.

After his sentencing Friday in Wayne County Circuit Court, several inmates awaiting transfer back to jail attacked Gourlay, who fought back, said John Roach, a Wayne County sheriff's spokesman.

Gourlay was taken to an undisclosed hospital, where he was admitted, Roach said.

Gourlay's injuries were not life-threatening, said Roach, who did not provide more details. The matter is under investigation.

During the sentencing, Judge Michael Hathaway said Gourlay's lack of remorse and denial upset him.

He also chastised Gourlay's family for sending the court letters of support in light of strong evidence against Gourlay.

"None of them will accept that you're a pedophile," Hathaway told Gourlay. "That just got right by them. They're in denial as much as you are."

Michigan Assistant Attorney General Doug Baker said Gourlay encountered the 14-year-old online and later met him and assaulted him repeatedly at Gourlay's home.

The victim's foster mother said the teen is scarred for life.

"My son has been violated physically, mentally and emotionally by Mr. Gourlay," she said. "We have a lot to overcome because of Mr. Gourlay."

Baker said the assault was uncovered as investigators from his office reviewed computer files and letters obtained this year in a raid on Gourlay's home in Detroit.

At the time, evidence was being gathered to charge Gourlay with sexually assaulting Justin Berry of Bakersfield, Calif., who was a teen when Gourlay used him to produce and distribute pornography on the Internet.

Berry garnered national attention in April 2006 when he testified before Congress about online child pornography. He is now 20.

A Washtenaw County jury convicted Gourlay, a computer programmer, in March on the cases involving Berry. He was sentenced in May to 6 to 20 years in prison. ..more.. by BEN SCHMITT

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