The 17-year-old Oakland boy who lit a sleeping, agender teen's skirt on fire last year on an AC Transit bus is facing a seven-year prison sentence after accepting a plea deal Thursday.
Richard Thomas, who was being tried as an adult, pleaded no contest and was found guilty of felony assault with a sentence enhancement for "inflicting great bodily injury," according to the Alameda County District Attorney's office. Other counts were dismissed.
Sasha Fleischman suffered second- and third-degree burns after the assault on Nov. 4, 2013. Fleischman identifies as genderqueer, neither male nor female.
The incident garnered attention as an alleged hate crime after prosecutors said Thomas told police he was “homophobic.”
Thomas' defense attorney William Du Bois said Thomas, then 16, didn't mean to say that he was homophobic, rather heterosexual, “neither of which he can spell.”