In a case that shocked the LGBTQ community nationwide, a mother from Whiteville was charged with child abuse after allegedly telling one son to “beat the gay” out of another son, according to WECT TV6 and other news reports.
A police spokesperson wouldn’t discuss the case with the Observer because it involved a juvenile, and the mother could not be reached for comment.
According to news reports from 2013, when the alleged incident occurred, police said a 15-year-old boy told them his mother beat him after finding out he was gay.
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Mary Gowans allegedly forced him to strip to his underwear and she hit him with a belt, according to reports. Then she allegedly told her 12-year-old son to beat the 15-year-old.
Gowans told reporters at the time that her son was molested by an older gay man and she was punishing him for leaving home.
The charges were eventually dismissed. According to the clerk of court, Gowans complied with “rules set out.”