American’s fatal fall off Sydney cliff ruled gay hate crime

A judge has ruled an American’s fatal fall off a Sydney cliff nearly three decades ago was a gay hate crime.

The inquest was the third to investigate the circumstances surrounding Scott Johnson’s death in 1988.

State Coroner Michael Barnes ruled Thursday that Johnson “fell from the cliff top as a result of actual or threatened violence by unidentified persons who attacked him because they perceived him to be homosexual.”

The first coroner ruled Johnson had taken his own life, while a second coroner could not explain his fall. His body was found below a cliff that was a known gay meeting place.

The 27-year-old mathematician was born in Los Angeles and was openly gay.

His brother, Steve Johnson, wants police to bring the killers to justice.


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