WEST HOLLYWOOD—YouTube personality and LGBT activist Calum McSwiggan, who reported in June that he was the victim of a hate-crime in West Hollywood, pleaded guilty to one felony charge of vandalism on Monday, November 7, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
McSwiggan, 26, a London native, was visiting Los Angeles to attend an online video convention—VidCon—when he was arrested on June 27 and charged with one felony count of vandalism and one misdemeanor count of filing a false report.
The incident occurred on June 26, when McSwiggan and friends headed to “Boys Town”—a stretch of gay bars and clubs located in West Hollywood—to celebrate the convention. Deputies from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department indicated they saw McSwiggan vandalize a car and he was arrested at approximately 2:30 a.m. near Robertson Boulevard, in the heart of the city’s LGBT nightlife district.
McSwiggan alleged he was assaulted by three men outside of the Abbey and “In a moment of devastation, anger and blind rage, [I] kicked the wing mirror of the attacker’s car until it broke and then ripped it off with [my] hands,” he wrote in a Facebook post on June 29.
Sheriff’s deputies were unable to substantiate McSwiggan’s claims because he had no visible injuries. He was booked on one count of vandalism with property damage greater than $400 and held in lieu of a $20,000 bail.
“Being accused of being a liar and being called a disgrace to the LGBT+ community, a community I’ve dedicated my life to, is more painful than any hate crime could ever be,” McSwiggan wrote on Facebook.
He was arraigned on September 26, at Los Angeles County Superior Court at LAX, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of vandalism and filing a false police report.
On November 7, McSwiggan returned in front of a judge for a pre-trial hearing and pleaded guilty to one felony charge of vandalism that caused more than $400 in damage, according to reports. The misdemeanor charge alleging that McSwiggan made a false report about the run-in with the men was dismissed under a plea deal.
He has been sentenced to 3 years of supervised probation, ordered to complete 52 anger management classes and pay $7,000 restitution for vandalizing a car.
If McSwiggan went to trial he could have been convicted on both counts, and face up to 44 months in jail.