City Desk

What Makes A True Crime Against Transgender Women?

Last week the Washington Blade reported on the story of a transgender woman who was upset that the man who shot her in the neck was given a lesser charge to plea to:

District resident Darryl Willard, 20, pleaded guilty on Thursday in D.C. Superior Court to a charge of aggravated assault while armed in connection with the shooting. His plea came after prosecutors agreed to drop a more serious charge of assault with intent to kill while armed.

[...]

“I told them I was willing to go to a trial and testify” if prosecutors went with the more serious charge, said the victim, who spoke on condition that her name was withheld.

But the prosecutors told her that her "lifestyle" would be brought up if she went to trial. They were referring, presumably, to the fact that she'd allegedly had sex with the man for money in the past. Practically speaking, it's not a surprise that the prosecutors decided to go that route. But there's something troubling about the assumption that a person who has had sex for money can't be a victim who's worth fighting for.

Photo by Flickr user Kevitivity under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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  • Common Sense

    "But there's something troubling about the assumption that a person who has had sex for money can't be a victim who's worth fighting for."

    Given the personal biases of the vast majority of residents of D.C. against transgender individuals, would you really want to chance an a jury trial and have a jury find him not guilty and him not getting any time at all? The USAO made the right decision.

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