A woman has been charged with assault and animal cruelty after allegedly attacking her girlfriend and putting her dog in a microwave.
According to the criminal complaint, Kirsten J. Gaskins repeatedly hit her girlfriend in the face on Sunday night (January 13) before telling her that if she left the room, she would kill her white Pomeranian dog.
A white Pomeranian dog was also discovered in the microwave, which was not turned on. The animal was unharmed but unable to stand or turn around in the microwave, which had limited ventilation.
Football match allegedly led woman to put dog in a microwave
The incident reportedly took place after Gaskins watched her favourite NFL team the Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff defeat to the New Orleans Saints.
The couple were on a getaway at the Best Western hotel in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania.
The criminal complaint states that Gaskins, 31, got drunk and yelled about the match before pushing her girlfriend to the ground.
The woman said Gaskins starting hitting her, so she scratched her on the face and got away.
Gaskins fled before police arrived, but returned while officers were present to tell her girlfriend that they were leaving.
The woman was taken into custody and charged with simple assault, harassment, cruelty to animals and possession of drug paraphernalia, after the police found a marijuana grinder in her jacket pocket.
Gaskins was arraigned by District Judge Robert Hawke and released on a $20,000 unsecured bail.
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Pennsylvania has seen LGBT+ progress
In Pennsylvania, where the alleged assault took place, LGBT+ activists have had recent success with legislative steps towards equality.
Several cities and municipalities in the state have banned gay ‘cure’ therapy for minors in the past three years.
And in 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf responded to a spate of anti-LGBT laws in other states by enshrining LGBT+ rights protections in his state.
“Governor Wolf has made clear that this startling trend in other states will not find success in Pennsylvania.”
— The Pennsylvania Governor’s office
In the months before Wolf’s executive order, North Carolina and Mississippi signed anti-LGBT legislation which permitted discrimination on the grounds of ‘religious freedom.’
These laws prompted legal challenges and boycotts backed by major corporations.
Governor Wolf then signed an executive order expanding protections for LGBT+ people.
The Democratic governor’s office made this link explicitly clear, listing the other states’ legislative decisions before stating: “Governor Wolf has made clear that this startling trend in other states will not find success in Pennsylvania.”
The office said Wolf had ensured that “no agency under the governor’s jurisdiction shall discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender expression, and identity, among other areas.”