No charges filed for anti-discrimination protesters arrested

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Thirteen protesters who were arrested on Capitol Hill two weeks ago over an anti discrimination bill were in court Monday, but their appearance didn't go as planned.

Tuesday morning was supposed to be the arraignment for what is being called the “Capitol 13,” the 13 defendants who were arrested on Capitol Hill but to their surprise no charges have been filed.

"We came here today thinking charges had been filed because our clients were given a court date to come. We were surprised when he walked in and found that the Utah Highway Patrol hadn't given any information to the city prosecutors,” said Jesse Nix, one of 3 defense attorneys representing the Capitol 13.

Nevertheless, Nix says his clients had planned to plead not guilty after being arrested on Capitol Hill for blocking a committee hearing and refusing to leave. "Our clients are not guilty because they were defending themselves from the assault of animus from the Utah state legislature,” said Nix.

Among the Capitol 13, Troy Williams, who says Senate Bill 100 was shut down before any public input could be heard and that is why he and others are taking action."72% of Utahn's favor non discrimination in housing and employment for LGBT Utahn's but the legislature refuses to schedule any public hearing why? Our democratic process has failed us and we have decided are voices must be heard,” said Williams.

Capitol 13 doesn't have an official court date, but the judge today scheduled another appearance in his own calendar for March 24th if charges are filed. On March 5th a rally will also be held for supporters of SB 100 to be heard.


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