PHILADELPHIA – A Pennsylvania man originally sentenced to more than four years in prison for attacking a gay man has had his sentence cut in half despite being on the lam for 16 years.
Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Harold Kane credited 36-year-old Patrick Groce on Monday with staying out of trouble during his time as a fugitive and sentenced him instead to at least 11 1/2 months in prison. He’s also eligible for work release.
Prosecutors objected, saying Groce deserved up to four years behind bars.
The New Jersey man was 19 in June 1994 when he and a friend assaulted and taunted a gay man in Philadelphia. They were convicted of aggravated assault but Groce jumped bail before he was eventually arrested on a DUI charge in February in Delaware County.