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Four Charged in Attack of Cleveland Trans Woman

Four Charged in Attack of Cleveland Trans Woman

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Charges have been brought against four youths in the November attack of a transgender woman in Cleveland.

GayPeoplesChronicle.com reports that Alexis Alison Lancaster, 39, was approached at an RTA Red Line station and verbally harassed with antigay slurs as she excited the train on November 19. According to the story, the suspects -- which may include an as-yet unidentified adult -- beat and kicked the victim, allegedly stealing her cell phone and leaving her bruised and unconscious.

Lancaster was aided by a passerby on a bicycle and taken for treatment.

The beating, which was reportedly caught on RTA surveillance video, was ruled a hate crime by RTA detectives, who have joined forces with the FBI under the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Act.

"The FBI will see if it rises to the level of a federal hate crime," the story quotes Special Agent Scott Wilson as saying, "and present it to the U.S. Attorney for Civil Rights to see if charges should be filed."

Lancaster says she was able to track down her cell phone with the use of its GPS, but that police were not interested in following up. She also says she was evicted from the apartment she had occupied for 13 years after the attack was reported on the news. GayPeoplesChronicle.com reports that the apartment is owned by the Catholic church.

Since transgender residents are protected by Cleveland's fair housing ordinance, Lancaster is being assisted by a trans rights advocate.

Read more here.

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