Denver man sentenced for assaulting gay victims; Tilo Sandoval out on bond during attacks

DENVER - A 20-year-old Denver man was sentenced Friday in connection with two separate assaults that occurred in July 2013 and September 2013. 

Tilo Sandoval was out on bond for the July assault when he assaulted two gay men as they were leaving a Denver hookah bar, causing serious bodily injury to one of the victims, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office.

He pleaded guilty earlier to two counts of menacing in connection with both cases, and was sentenced to a total of five years in the Colorado Department of Corrections by Denver District Court Judge William Robbins. 

A badly beaten victim, Jared R. Olson, 23, said the man who attacked him and a friend was part of a group that shouted gay slurs at them in the parking lot of Sam's Hookah Lounge at 2370 W. Alameda Ave. in the early morning hours of Sept. 2.

Olson said the man followed him and two friends as they got in their car. He then pulled open the door to the back seat where Olsen and his friend, who's also gay, were seated. The attacker repeatedly punched Olson in the face and also struck his friend. The male friend who was in the driver's seat was not harmed.

The attack left Olsen covered in blood, with broken bones in his face that required reconstructive surgery. He also had several teeth knocked out or chipped.

"I didn't think that I looked that bad, until my mother had taken the picture and shown me," Olson told 7NEWS.

"I didn't think it would ever happen to me. I thought people were more sensible than that in this day in age," he added. "I just remember looking over, and looking up at the guy and getting hit square in the face right here. And you can clearly tell my nose is like over here," said Olson.

Sandoval and several members of his family became visibly upset after the sentence was handed down; Denver sheriff's deputies had to restrain Sandoval as he was handcuffed and led from the courtroom.

The case was prosecuted by Denver Deputy District Attorney Zach McCabe, who had asked the Court for the maximum sentence of nine years, citing the seriousness of the injuries and because Sandoval was on bond in a previous case when he committed the second assault. 

However, one of the victims also spoke to the Court, declining to ask for any particular sentence, saying that even though the attack had forever changed his life, he just wanted to move on and wanted the defendant to be able to move on.

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