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7 people charged in beating of gay man acquitted of kidnapping

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Seven family members who prosecutors say beat up a homosexual man acquitted of kidnapping two children have been charged in connection with a brutal assault.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Seven family members who prosecutors say beat up a homosexual man acquitted of kidnapping two children have been charged in connection with a brutal assault.

Salt Lake District Attorney Lohra Miller released charging documents on Tuesday that outline the events of July 4, 2008.

David James Bell was arrested after family members alleged that he had kidnapped two children from a neighborhood party. He was acquitted by a jury of kidnapping charges last summer.

Bell says he was attacked after two children came to his house and asked for something to drink. Bell says that's when the mother came over and started hitting him. He says other family members showed up a few minutes later and continued to beat him and his partner Dan Fair.

Bell announced in October 2009 that he planned to sue members of the family and perhaps the South Salt Lake Police Department over the arrest.

Bell indicated he's upset with the way the South Salt Lake Police Department handled the case. His attorney’s say they didn’t collect evidence or even go into Bell’s house where the beatings happened.

Bell says he was beaten because he was gay.

Tuesday's criminal filing did not specify any hate crimes, but were related to felony assault and riot charges.

Ieti David Mageo (A.K.A. "Punisher") was charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated assault and rioting, all felonies.

Ricky Ian Peace was charged with aggravated burglary, assault and rioting, all felonies.

Ietitaia Tevita Nuusila was charged with aggravated burglary and assault along with rioting, all felonies. She was also charged with misdemeanor assault and giving false information to a police officer.

Angelina Janae Dibella, Marsha Rae Finau and Lisa Rita Aiono were all charged with felony rioting. Dibella also faces a misdemeanor assault charge.

Charging documents say Bell was beaten and intentionally cut with broken glass during the alleged assault.

David Bell and his partner were beaten nearly to death in their South Salt Lake home.  The attack came after allegations that Bell had kidnapped his next door neighbor's children.  This is what one of the neighbors accused in Bell's beating told ABC 4 back in July of 2008, "All I could think about was the safety of my nephew, the safety of my daughter." 

But Bell has been cleared of any wrong doing and now it's those neighbors who are facing criminal charges.  Bell's attorney
Susanne Gustin says, "These are very serious charges against them... David feels that justice is now being served and they've waited a long time for this day." 

The seven accused face a total of sixteen charges, the most serious is 1st degree felony aggravated burglary.  It's taken this long for those charges to come down because of the child kidnapping case against Bell.  Alicia Cook with the District Attorney's office says that essentially stalled the assault case also involving Bell.  Cook says, "We had individuals who were both defendants and witnesses on both sides of the equation and that just raises a lot of legal complications." 

Bell's attorneys feel the charges are fair and accurate and believe the truth of what happened on that Independence Day in 2008 will finally be revealed, "Clearly a crime was committed that day. we've always believed it wasn't committed by DJ Bell, but by the people next door to him." 
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