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Crime

Lesbian night bus attack: Police charge four teens over homophobic hate crime

Ella Braidwood July 25, 2019
London bus attack Two women on a London bus covered in blood after alleged homophobic attack

Melania Geymonat (right) and her partner Chris Hannigan were beaten on a London bus for refusing to kiss and perform sex acts. (Facebook)

The Metropolitan Police has charged four teenage boys for brutally attacking two women who were returning from a date on a north London night bus in May.

Melania Geymonat and her date Chris were left with facial injuries that needed hospital treatment after the pair were assaulted on the top deck of the N31 bus in Camden in the early hours of Thursday morning on May 30.

In an update released on Thursday afternoon (July 25), the Metropolitan said that four males, aged between 15 and 17, had been charged with committing an aggravated hate crime under Section 4a of the Public Order act.

Two of the boys were also charged with handling stolen goods in relation to the incident.

Four teens will appear in court over lesbian hate crime on night bus, say police

The four teens will appear at Highbury Corner Youth Court on Wednesday August 21.

In June, Geymonat posted a bloodied photo of her and Chris taken shortly after the attack on Facebook, which went viral and sparked public outrage, with LGBT+ activists reaching out to support the women.

It prompted many lesbian, bisexual or queer women to speak out against the discrimination they face for being open about their sexuality in public spaces.

The assault also highlighted the violence queer women face specifically from heterosexual men.

Two teens also charged with handling stolen goods over attack

Police have charged four teens over the hate crime. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Speaking after the assault in June, Geymonat told the BBC: “The violence is not only because we are women which are dating each other. It’s also because we are women.”

In her Facebook post about the attack, Geymonat explained that she was heading back to Chris’ home after their date when a group of  guys came after them, demanding that the pair should kiss, describing sexual positions, and calling them “lesbians.”

We have to endure verbal harassment and chauvinist, misogynistic and homophobic violence because when you stand up for yourself s**t like this happens.

Geymonat, who is a doctor but was working as an air hostess at the time of the assault, continued: “The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them.

“On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up. The next thing I know is I’m being punched.

“I got dizzy at the sight of my blood and fell back. I don’t remember whether or not I lost consciousness.”

She said that the police soon arrived and that the pair’s belongings were also stolen in the assault.

“What upsets me the most is that violence has become a common thing,” added Geymonat.

“I’m tired of being taken as a sexual object, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up just because.

“We have to endure verbal harassment and chauvinist, misogynistic and homophobic violence because when you stand up for yourself s**t like this happens.”

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