Blackfoot man beat up transgender woman for using bathroom, say Oregon police
Joe English, KATU
NEWPORT, Ore. — Lauren Jackson, a homeless transgender person who just moved to Oregon from Utah, is now wondering if she’ll need reconstructive surgery from the pounding she took from a man at Agate Beach State Park in Newport last weekend.
Court records say witnesses told police Jackson had used the women’s restroom at the park, when a woman in the bathroom told the man she was with that Jackson had been in the restroom.
That man, Fred Costanza from Blackfoot, Idaho, is said to have held Jackson’s hair and punched her in the face “more than 10 times,” according to witnesses.
Jackson’s jaw was broken in several places. She’s spent the last several days at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.
She was back in Newport on Thursday to give her testimony to a grand jury that will decide if Costanza could be charged with a hate crime.
As of now, Costanza is charged with assault, harassment and disorderly conduct, and is being held on $140,000 bail.
Outside the Lincoln County Courthouse, a crowd of clergy and local officials gathered to support Jackson.
“Well, frankly, it felt like a kick in the gut. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m embarrassed for my community. The fact that the person was not a local really doesn’t make a lot of difference. It certainly doesn’t lessen Lauren’s suffering,” said Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall.
“People of faith to just come together and say whatever your theology is, whatever your beliefs on this issue, can we come together and say that hate is wrong, that violence is wrong? The type of violence that we saw last week is wrong,” said Pastor Bob Barrett of Yachats Community Presbyterian Church.
This story first appeared on fellow CNN affiliate KATU News. It is used here with permission.