Woman pleads guilty in case of videotaped beating of trans woman at McDonald’s

Teona Brown, 19, has pled guilty Thursday, Aug. 4, to first degree assault charges and a hate crime charge in connection with the beating of transgender woman Chrissy Polis last April in Towson,

Chrissy Polis

Md. The attack was captured on video by a McDonald’s employee — who filmed the assault rather than step in and try to stop it — last April. The video went viral online and was used, along with new footage from a surveillance camera, in court hearings this week. CBS Baltimore has this report on the plea.

Conviction on a first degree assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years, and a hate crime conviction could add another 10 years. Because Brown pled guilty to the attack, prosecutors are recommending that the judge sentence her to five years in prison. A sentencing hearing has been set for next month.

Polis was present in court on Thursday, but told reporters she was nervous about being there and had no comment. “I just want to lay low and keep my life as normal as possible,” she said.

A second person charged in the attack was 14 at the time and has been charged with assault as a juvenile. Because she is a minor, her identity has not been released.

Below is a video of a news report aired on the Washington, D.C., Fox news program when the attack happened. It includes video of the attack and, as State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said this week, “The severity of the beating is much easier to understand when you see a video. They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Well, a video’s worth a million.”

—  admin

The hate continues: 3 teens arrested for assaulting gay classmate

This week, we here in the LGBT community in DFW are celebrating the courage of two members of our community: Trans teen Andy Moreno who chose to stand and fight when her high school principal told her she couldn’t run for homecoming queen, and Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns, whose impassioned and powerful speech on teen suicide and his own struggle as a teen is reaching people around the world.

But elsewhere, the same hatred and bullying and harassment that played a role in a number of highly-publicized teen suicides over the past month was rearing its ugly head once again.

Nassau County police this week arrested three Long Island teenagers for allegedly assaulting a classmate for being gay — not once, but twice, and both times on a school bus, according to reports at WPix.com.

Police have charged 18-year-old David Spencer of North Valley Stream, 16-year-old Chase Morrison of Lakeview both with second-degree aggravated harrassment and third-degree assault, and they have charged 14-year-old Roy Wilson of Baldwin with third-degree assault.

According to reports, the three assailants attacked their 14-year-old classmate on the bus Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 12, as it left Nassau BOCES Career Preparatory High School in Hicksville, kicking and stomping him while hurling anti-gay epithets at him. The next morning, Wednesday, Oct. 13, when the unnamed victim boarded the bus  to go to school, the three attacked him again, using anti-gay insults as they slapped him in the face and head.

The three were arrested later Wednesday afternoon.

—  admin

Man suspected of hate crime outside Neb. gay bar

Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. — A 22-year-old man has been accused of a hate crime following an altercation outside a Lincoln gay bar.

Lincoln police spokeswoman Katie Flood told the Lincoln Journal Star that an officer saw Luke Stevens punch a 32-year-old man outside Club Q around 1:40 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3. The victim reported that Stevens used a derogatory term to refer to the victim’s sexual orientation just before the assault.

Stevens was being held Friday in the Lancaster County jail on suspicion of third-degree assault, resisting arrest and failure to comply.

—  John Wright

Charges dismissed in alleged attack on gay teen in Kentucky

Associated Press

MCKEE, Ky. — A judge has dismissed charges against two eastern Kentucky teens accused of attacking a gay classmate.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports prosecutor George T. Hays said Thursday, Aug. 19 that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Corinne Schwab and Ashley Sams, both 18. They were charged with fourth-degree assault and menacing in the alleged attack on 18-year-old Cheyenne Williams.

Earlier this week, District Judge Henria Bailey-Lewis acquitted a juvenile who also was charged in the case.

Williams had accused the others of taking her to a rural area of the county on April 16, hitting her with sticks and threatening to push her over a cliff because she is gay.

The four teens attended Jackson County High School at the time of the alleged attack and had been friends.

—  John Wright

1 of 3 teen suspects acquitted in attack on gay classmate in Ky.

Associated Press

MCKEE, Ky. — A judge has acquitted an eastern Kentucky teenager on charges she attacked a gay classmate, but two other teens remain charged in the case.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that District Judge Henria Bailey-Lewis handed down the verdict after a trial on Monday, Aug. 16. The girl’s name has not been released because she was younger than 18 when she was charged. Her attorney, Sharon K. Allen Gay, said she received permission to release information about the verdict.

The teen and two 18-year-old friends, Corinne Schwab and Ashley Sams, were charged in April with attempted murder and kidnapping in a case involving 18-year-old Cheyenne Williams. Schwab and Sams were set for trial on misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree assault and menacing on Thursday, Aug. 19.

Williams, who had been friends with the girls, said the three girls took her to a rural area of Jackson County, assaulted her and threatened to push her off a cliff and bash in her head with a rock

—  John Wright

Judge allows gay Ky. teen to testify against alleged attackers

MCKEE, Ky. — A Jackson County judge will let a teenager who says she is gay testify against friends charged with attacking her.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported District Judge Henria Bailey-Lewis ruled Monday, Aug. 2 that Cheyenne Williams will be allowed to testify against two other female teens. Defense had asked that Williams’ testimony be barred, saying her story to police was inconsistent.

Williams had Corinne Schwab and Ashley Sams charged with kidnapping and attempted murder. The court reduced the charges to fourth-degree assault and menacing.

Schwab and Sams face trial Aug. 19 in the incident, which took place April 16.

A third girl, who is a juvenile, is also charged.

—  John Wright