AUSTIN (KXAN) - It's been nine months since Emmanuel Winston was a victim of a hate crime.
"There's no doubt in my mind that I was targeted because of my sexual orientation," Winston said.
Winston and his friend were leaving a gay bar on 4th Street last February when they were followed to their car and attacked .
"The guys, when they attacked us, it was unprovoked. After they attacked us they screamed just a bunch of slurs, homophobic slurs," Winston said.
Police are still searching for their attackers. If caught, statistically speaking there's a good chance they will not be charged with a hate crime.
"It's very hard to obtain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt based on someone's hate," said KXAN Legal Analyst Mindy Montford.
According to statistics from the Texas Department of Public Safety, since Texas enacted its hate crime law back in 2001, more than 2500 hate crimes offenses have been reported. Of those, only 11 have been prosecuted.
"You've got to really have strong evidence to show that's why the crime was committed," Montford said.
"When you pass a law you expect it to be used," said State Rep. Marc Veasey , a Democrat from Tarrant County.
While Veasey understands that it's hard to prosecute hate crimes he believes there's another, underlying reason why prosecutors are rarely using the law.
"You have some people on the right that have said that it is a bill that protects gays and so they are against it for that reason," Veasey said.
To find out why prosecutors in the state aren't using the law, Veasey -- for the third time -- has introduced a bill asking for the state to study the law and the reasons why it's not being used.
Veasey admitted there is a very good chance his bill will not win approval from his colleagues after recent elections that gave Republicans an almost-super-majority in the Texas House of Representatives.
However, it is a different story at Austin's City Hall. On next week's agenda, there is an item dealing with hate crimes.
If passed the City Council item will bring stakeholders together to talk about how the city can help when it comes to prosecuting possible hate crimes.
"To make sure our police force is adequately educated, has the tools to collect appropriate information so that the DA can make determinations about whether it's a hate crime or not," said the item's sponsor, City Council member Laura Morrison .
Nine months after the attack only a small scar is visible underneath Winston's right eye.
"It's a little frustrating. I'm not going to lie," Winston said.
Frustrating because no one's been caught, but Winston said he's happy lawmakers are trying to take a step in the right direction.
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