Four Men Arraigned on Assault Charges in Attack on Drag-Singer

Four young men suspected of beating a recording artist while yelling anti-gay slurs were arraigned on assault charges, but did not enter a plea.

They are accused of chasing and jumping Kevin Aviance, 38, at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday in the city's East Village.

According to a felony complaint filed by prosecutors, the men followed Aviance, called him derogatory names and threw two garbage bags and a paint can at the singer before surrounding and attacking him.

Len Evans, Aviance's publicist, said the singer could hear passers-by yelling at the attackers to stop.

Aviance suffered a broken jaw, bruised knee and other injuries, the complaint said.

When it was over, a stranger walked him to the hospital. Aviance was discharged Monday from Manhattan's Beth Israel Medical Center, his leg in a brace and his jaw wired shut.

Aviance, who performs in drag, appeared on the Billboard dance music charts in 2002 and 2004 with his songs "Give It Up" and "Alive."

Akino George, 20, of the Bronx, and Gregory Archie, 18, of Manhattan, were arraigned Tuesday on charges of first-degree gang assault and first-degree assault as a hate crime, a day after Jarell Sears, 20, of Newark, N.J., and Gerard Johnson, 16, of Manhattan, were arraigned on the same charges.

All were held on $25,000 bail, and all were scheduled to return to court June 16. They face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.