HOUSTON, Texas – An 18-year-old man that prosecutors described as a neo-Nazi skinhead went on trial Tuesday on charges he beat a Hispanic teen and sodomized him with a plastic pipe while saying "white power."
David Henry Tuck is charged with aggravated sexual assault in the April attack on the 17-year-old boy, who spent more than three months in a hospital.
Keith Robert Turner, 17, is to be tried next month on the same charge. If convicted, they would each face five years to life in prison.
Defense attorney Chuck Hinton did not give an opening statement.
Prosecutor Mike Trent told the jury a girl said that the Hispanic teen tried to kiss her at a party in the Houston suburb of Spring, and that the girl's brother hit him, Trent said.
"Then Mr. Tuck decided to take matters into his own hands and teach (the victim to) never do that again," Trent said.
Trent told jurors Tuck kicked the victim with steel-toed boots. Tuck then sodomized him with part of a patio umbrella as he "lay naked and bleeding in the backyard," said Trent, who showed the jury the pipe while questioning a witness.
Tuck also tried to slash something into the victim's chest, burned him with cigarettes and doused him with bleach, Trent said.
Investigators found a swastika imprinted on the upper part of Tuck's left boot and another on his wallet, Harris County Deputy Shawn Carrizal testified.
"He's a neo-Nazi. He espouses beliefs by violent white supremacist groups," Trent told jurors.
"While assaulting him, he uttered the phrase, 'white power,'" he said.
Sixteen-year-old Gus Sons, the girl's brother, testified that he, the victim, Tuck and Turner used drugs, including marijuana and cocaine, on the night of the attack. At Sons' home, tensions boiled over after Sons' sister made her accusation and Tuck accused the victim of stealing Sons' drugs, he testified.
During the attack, Tuck raised his hand in a Nazi salute, Sons testified. He also said Tuck threatened to kill him and his family if he reported the incident to police.
"I know he's racist," Sons said. "He doesn't like anybody who is not white."
The victim's mother, who was in the courtroom with his father and other relatives, cried as Sons detailed the attack.
Tuck's attorneys have argued the attack was not racially motivated. In a videotaped statement that the jury will not see because it was given after Tuck asked for an attorney, Tuck said he believed the victim had sexually assaulted Tuck's friend's sister.
The attack has fueled support for changing state law to give more prison time to people convicted of hate crimes.
The Associated Press has not identified the Hispanic teen because he is a juvenile sexual assault victim.