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Man beats up trans woman for using the right bathroom, gets booked for hate crime

37-year-old Fred Constanza was booked for a hate crime after assaulting a trans woman thanks to an update in Oregon state law.

Man beats up trans woman for using the right bathroom, gets booked for hate crime
Image Source: Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

In the past four years, we've seen the number of hate crimes take a steep hike. Of course, this is perhaps why perpetrators feel far more emboldened to commit them, but another reason could be the fact that several states have updated their laws in order to make them more progressive. Therefore, when Fred Constanza brutally attacked a trans woman when she used the right bathroom in a public space, he wasn't just booked with assault. He was found guilty of a hate crime, CNN reports. Finally, cruelty and violence against the already-oppressed trans community is being appropriately identified and punished.

 



 

 

Lauren Jackson, a transgender woman, was visiting Agate State Beach Park near Newport, Oregon, when she was violently attacked. As she stopped to use the women's restroom, Constanza, 37, walked over 100 yards to confront her. Several witnesses were in the area and corroborated the incident. The perpetrator then hit Jackson 10 times and, according to the victim, held her hair back in order to prevent her from escaping. Local Newport police officials discovered a bloody-faced Jackson after Constanza had fled the scene. Luckily, they were able to track him down and arrest him later that same evening.

 



 

 

Following the now-confirmed attack, the perpetrator entered a not-guilty plea in September last year. He remained in prison in Lincoln County, Oregon, until his court trial took place in January earlier this year. His trial began on January 22. Only a short week later, a jury found him guilty on three counts. One particular reason the jury was able to do so is because of the change in Oregon's hate crime law. About two months before the incident took place, the state updated its existing hate crime legislation so as to include "gender identity" as a protected class. As per data from the FBI's most recent hate crime reports, an estimated six percent of all victims out of the 120 hate crimes reported in Oregon in 2018 were sadly targeted because of their gender identity.

 



 

 

Needless to say, the assault left Jackson in a state of shock. She began to transition about a year ago and moved to Portland to embrace the big life change. While the city may not have given her the most gracious welcome, she remains positive. "All of a sudden being pretty is very important to me," she joked. "I'm having a rough start." She spent some time in the hospital following the attack, undergoing surgery to repair and then recovering from fractures in her jaw. The man had "blindsided" her, she revealed. "Do you have to take away somebody else's rights in order to protect someone's rights? Is one more important than the other? I don't know," she stated. "I don't feel safe using the men's restroom. And other people don't feel safe having me in the women's restroom." But the incident has not stopped her from living life as herself. Jackson affirmed, "I believe that people are inherently good and that I live in a kind world. I don't think I did anything wrong, and I don't want to live in fear. I came here searching for community and I found it."

 



 

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