SAN FRANCISCO - Wire Reports - San Francisco prosecutors say they plan to challenge a judge's decision to dismiss hate crime allegations against two men charged with beating a transgender woman in the city's Mission District.
District Attorney George Gascon said Superior Court Judge Bruce Chan ruled at the end of the suspects' preliminary hearing late Wednesday that the suspects assaulted the 20-year-old woman while trying to rob her of her cell phone, not because of her gender identity.
Gascon says his office nonetheless plans to refile the hate crime enhancement when the case goes to trial before a different judge. He says he wants to send a message that violence against transgender people will not be tolerated.
Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang says the suspects made comments before and after assaulting the woman indicating they knew she was transgender.
Lionel Jackson, 32, and Maurice Perry, 37, are accused of attacking the woman on April 1 outside the BART station at the intersection of Mission and 16th streets and taking her smartphone.