A man who severely beat a transgender woman in Oregon after she used the women’s restroom at a park has been convicted of a hate crime.
Fred Costanza, 37, an unemployed man from Idaho, was found guilty last week of a first-degree bias crime, second-degree assault, and harassment, The Oregonian reports. He will be sentenced Friday.
Lauren Jackson, a homeless trans woman, suffered several skull fractures and a shattered jaw in the beating, which happened August 24 at Agate Beach State Park. Witnesses said Costanza’s wife had complained to him about Jackson’s presence in the women’s restroom, leading to the attack. Costanza punched Jackson in the face more than 10 times, according to local media.
Jackson was hospitalized for a week for surgery and other treatment for her injuries. She had moved to Oregon from Utah shortly before the attack. “I came here searching for community and I found it,” she told Portland TV station KATU in August. She said she wouldn’t let the attack intimidate her.
“I believe that people are inherently good and that I live in a kind world,” she said. “I don’t think I did anything wrong, and I don’t want to live in fear.” She also said Costanza has an “opportunity to use this situation and hopefully come out the other end better or happier.” She won’t expend energy on hating him, she added.
Oregon updated its hate-crime law last year to include crimes motivated by the victim’s gender identity.