Missouri Trans Woman Says Man She Met on Dating App Attacked Her

Tenia Williams

A transgender woman in Missouri is speaking out about being knifed last month — and the suspect is a man she met on a dating app.

Tenia Williams, 23, of Springfield, told police she was attacked in the early hours of August 19 by Dominic James, 24, after they had consensual sexual relations at her apartment, according to the Springfield News-Leader. The fact that Williams is transgender was not reported until this week.

Williams said she met James on a dating app called PlentyOfFish and invited him to her home. She disclosed her transgender identity to him before they met, she told the newspaper.

After they had sex, James left Williams’s bedroom twice, first to use the bathroom, then to smoke a cigarette, she said. When she returned after the smoking break, she said, he started choking her. He demanded money, which she offered, along with jewelry, according to her account.

She eventually broke away from him and tried to get out her front door, but he caught up with her and a struggle ensued, during which she noticed she was bleeding. Police found a bloody knife at the scene, and Williams believes that during James's supposed bathroom and smoking breaks, he was actually searching her kitchen for a knife, she told the News-Leader.

“In that moment there was not a doubt in my mind that I [was] going to die,” she said. “I really thought this man was going to kill me.” Williams also was struck on the head with a wooden vase during the struggle, according to police.

Near the front door, James tripped on some luggage and clothing he had left there, giving Williams enough time to escape to a neighbor’s apartment. She was treated at a Springfield hospital for a gash on the back of her head, which required four staples to close, and cuts to her wrist and ankle.

James fled the scene but ended up being arrested in Georgia on an unrelated charge. In the Williams case, he is charged with second-degree assault, the News-Leader reports. The charge is not eligible for a penalty enhancement under Missouri’s hate-crimes law.

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