Gay basher found guilty

Timothy Kincaid

December 18th, 2015

knott Does this look like the face of an innocent woman? It’s not, it’s Kathryn Knott.

Kathryn was out drinking with 14 of her good friends from her Catholic high school last September in downtown Philadelphia when the group ran into a gay couple. So they decided that they’d beat them while screaming homophobic slurs. One of the couple was knocked unconscious and left with broken cheekbones and a fractured upper jaw that needed to be wired shut for eight weeks.

Perhaps they forgot that anything that is done on a street in a major city is likely to show up on a surveillance camera. So they just went on to the next bar and thought nothing of it. Until their faces were flashed across the screens of everyone watching the news.

The prosecutors isolated three of the participants to charge with assault and conspiracy. Two of them, Philip Williams and Kevin Harrigan, plead guilty to assault and conspiracy. They got off pretty easy. (

Philip Williams, 24, of Warminster, and Kevin Harrigan, 26, of Warrington, were both sentenced to probation, community service at a LGBTQ center yesterday before Common Pleas Court. Both men will also voluntarily stay out of Center City as part of their probation deal, though an attorney for one admitted it would be difficult to enforce.

But the third assailant decided that punishment – even light punishment – was for fools and suckers. After all, she’s a pretty blonde girl whose daddy is a chief of police in one of the nearby suburbs.

So Kathryn Knott decided to fight her arrest in court.

And so for the past several days, a jury has heard character witness say that she’s lovely and non-violent. Others in the party all claimed that they didn’t see her throw a punch. And she swore, up and down, that she only tried to stop the fight. And never ever ever did she hurl homophobic slurs. No, not her.

But they also heard the victims tell that she did, indeed, throw punches and scream slurs. And several witnesses did as well.

Then there was Knott’s social media history which suggested that she held animus towards gay people.

And, after three days of deliberation, the jury just didn’t find her believable. (Philly Voice)

After a series of contentious, “heated” deliberations, a Philadelphia jury returned a mixed verdict Friday in the assault trial of Kathryn Knott, finding the Bucks County woman guilty of simple assault and conspiracy to commit simple assault against Zachary Hesse, one of two victims beaten as they walked to get pizza in Center City on Sept. 11, 2014.

Knott also was found guilty of reckless endangerment against both Hesse and his boyfriend, Andrew Haught, but acquitted of aggravated assault, a felony and the most serious charge against her.

Several on the jury were fighting for a guilty charge on all counts. And though they disagreed as to the extent of her culpability, jurors found Knott’s demeanor, obvious lies, and lack of remorse to be disgusting.

Kathryn Knott will receive her sentencing on February 8. Having put the victims through the trauma of reliving the event and having taken jurors away from their lives and insulted them with lies, I sincerely hope that Knott’s sentence is significantly more severe than that of her fellow assailants who admitted their crimes and expressed remorse for their actions.


December 18th, 2015

I’m honestly surprised that she was convicted. Now that she is ruled guilty I wonder what her punishment is going to be. She’s the daughter of a cop, rich, white, and a “good catholic girl.” I seriously hope it’s not a slap on the wrist, but I’m not hopeful.

Also, apparently someone claiming to be her gay cousin posted on facebook about how nice she was to him and how she couldn’t be guilty of the crime she committed.

Quite frankly, she is a spoiled B that finally realized that she isn’t above the law.

Mark F.

December 18th, 2015

You seem upset that she asserted her right to a jury trial and didn’t plea bargain.


December 18th, 2015

I am not upset about her seeking a jury trial. The fact that they were offered a plea deal, her and the two guys, somewhat upsets me, but her trial doesn’t. I am just concerned that she will receive a light sentence for her crime.

Priya Lynn

December 18th, 2015

“You seem upset that she asserted her right to a jury trial and didn’t plea bargain.”.

I certainly didn’t get that impression from his post, not sure how you did.


December 19th, 2015

Oh, please. The men caused the most physical damage and some bratty drunk woman is who you want receiving the brunt of the sentencing.

If anything it’s an aberration of justice that some thugs pleading guilty who actually caused most of the physical damage got off easy by just saying sorry.

Demeanor, I don’t give a shit about. I care about who caused tangible harm receiving proportionate justice. And this was in it.

This is a clear cut case where fighting the authorities gets you more punishment than the actual crime you did.

If they could convict her, why couldn’t they convict the male thugs, and WHY were those two offered a plea deal in the first place.

This is disgusting.

Eric Payne

December 19th, 2015


I agree with everything you say; it does seem the criminal justice system is often unfair in sentencing vs. plea bargaining.

In this instance though, I think they got it right: If not for the “egging on” of this woman, the bashing would not have been so severe, if it had happened at all. Her participation was minimal, but she was the instigator of the bashing.

That’s why she was found guilty of simple assault and conspiracy.


December 19th, 2015

I doubt drunk homophobic straight men need egging on to break gay men’s jaws. It was just the cherry on the top, and should be treated as such.

Those other men caused significant physical harm to the victims, with sizable medical bills no doubt and they got off so easily, I don’t even know if a civil suit was opened against them to get them to pay for the damage.

And the fact a background check will come off less damaging on their job applications because of a plea deal makes my stomach turn.

It’s so slimy how they negotiated justice away and avoided punishment, being rewarded for making the government’s job less time consuming and sparing them of resources basically got them the equivalent of the Catholic Church’s indulgences.


December 19th, 2015

For those of you who have seen the Scream Queens finale, her behavior/demeanor during the trial really reminds me of the character of Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts).


December 19th, 2015

Ms Knott was offered the same plea bargain and she turned it down.

Ben in oakland

December 19th, 2015

Having worked in the criminal justice system for four years, I can say this much: in general, the system works ok. But it is underfunded, and spends far more money on the drug wars than it should, resulting in everything being designed to process through as many offenders as quickly as possible.

But in a significant number of cases, it is far more criminal than it is just. That’s one of the reasons I left it.

I agree, the two men should have received far more punishment than they got. But that’s what happens when you’re white and middle class. Knott may “suffer” the same fate. But hopefully, someone will also pursue the violations of HIPAA, and that should give her a punishment that will last a long, long Time.

I hope the victims pursue a civil judgment against all three. That will also serve to punish them in ways that will cause them to think twice for a long, long time.


December 19th, 2015


It is my understanding the two men who were attacked don’t wish to pursue a civil case. They just want to move on.


December 20th, 2015

Their prerogative, but then I don’t want to hear about people complaining about how people get off easy when they don’t take full recourse of the legal options available to them.

I suppose the victims may not be wealthy themselves and pursuing a civil suit might be out of their means as well.

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