Maryland teenager jailed for five years over attack on transgender woman
A teenage girl from Baltimore, Maryland, has been sentenced to five years in jail for attacking a transgender woman in a McDonalds’ restaurant.
The attack on Chrissy Lee Polis, 22, was recorded on a mobile phone and showed her being verbally abused, kicked and pulled across the floor by her hair.
The end of the film, recorded by a restaurant employee, showed her apparently having convulsions.
Teonna Monae Brown, 19, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree assault and a hate crime.
She was sentenced to ten years in jail with five years suspended, plus three years of supervised probation.
Brown cried in court as she was sentenced.
As her lawyer asked for her to be given probation only, she said: “My mother didn’t raise me like this. I would really like to apologise to the victim.”
Baltimore County Circuit Judge John Grason Turnbull II called the attack “absolutely outrageous behaviour”.
The teenagers apparently attacked Ms Polis after seeing her come out of the women’s toilets.
Ms Polis, in a statement read to the court, said she did not forgive Brown and her 14-year-old accomplice.
The victim, who did not come to court, wrote: “While being beaten, I felt like I was going to die that day.
“My private life has been exposed to the world. I lost my job. I cannot go anywhere without the fear of getting hurt again. I want to go into a hole and hide.”
Following the attack, Ms Polis said she would have been injured more seriously, had a middle-aged female customer not come to her aid. The woman was punched in the face for trying to help the victim.
Brown’s accomplice has admitted her part in the attack and remains in a juvenile detention facility.
The McDonald’s employee who filmed the attack, Vernon Hackett, has now been fired. McDonald’s condemned the incident.
The attack made headlines around the world and renewed calls for more to be done about transphobic violence.