Texas Boy Critical as Teens Accused of Attack Avoid Hate-Crime Charges

A Hispanic boy who authorities said was viciously attacked and sodomized by two white teens shouting ethnic slurs also suffered cigarette burns on his back and numerous other injuries.

"It looks like they were really trying to kill him and torture him in any way they could," prosecutor Mike Trent said Monday during an initial court appearance for 17-year-old Keith Robert Turner.

Turner and David Henry Tuck, 18, are charged with aggravated sexual assault. Authorities said they have acknowledged their roles in the April 23 attack.

The 17-year-old victim remained in critical condition Monday, Trent said.

"We're hoping since he's lasted this long, he's going to pull through," he said. "Praise God he has made it so far."

The boy was dragged from a gathering at the home of a 12-year-old girl, apparently because he tried to kiss the girl, authorities said.

The attackers stomped on his head with steel-toed boots, poured bleach into a patio-umbrella pole and sodomized him with it, tried to carve something in his chest, and doused his body with bleach, investigators said.

Trent said prosecutors will not label the attack a hate crime under a 2001 state law because that would have no legal effect on possible punishments the defendants could face if convicted.

Turner's court-appointed attorney, John Denninger, declined to comment.

Turner's next court appearance was not immediately set. Tuck made his initial court appearance last week.