The Uruguayan-American lesbian couple attacked in London | Photo: Facebook
Scotland Yard has charged four male teenagers with the 30 May attack of a same-sex couple on a London bus.
Aged between 15 and 17, the four teens face a charge of an aggravated hate crime.
Authorities added three of the teens face additional charges.
They charged a 16-year-old from Wandsworth with theft and handling stolen goods. Another 16-year-old, from Kensington and Chelsea, faces a charge of cannabis possession. The youngest suspect, also from Kensington and Chelsea, faces a charge of handling stolen goods.
What happened to the couple?
On 30 May, Melania Geymonat was riding the N31 London bus from West Hampstead with her girlfriend, Chris. The group of teenagers began harassing the couple, which ended with them being attacked and left bloodied.
According to a Facebook post Geymonat wrote, the teens started asking them to kiss and describing sexual positions.
The suspects also allegedly robbed the couple after the attack before fleeing the scene.
‘The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them,’ Geymonat wrote on Facebook, describing the scene as the teens began harassing them. ‘On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up. The next thing I know is I’m being punched.’
Police first arrested the teens in June.
‘Par for the course’
In an op-ed written for The Guardian, Chris took issue with people describing this incident as ‘shocking’.
‘This attack and the ensuing media circus are par for the course in 2019,’ she wrote. ‘In both my native United States and here in the United Kingdom, it always has been and still is open season on the bodies of (in no specific order) people of color, indigenous people, transgender people, disabled people, queer people, poor people, women and migrants.’
She also took note of the ‘timely law enforcement’ response and moral outrage of the media, stating it was ‘not coincidental to our complexions’.
‘The commodification and exploitation of my face came at the expense of other victims whose constant persecution apparently does not warrant similar moral outrage,’ Chris concluded.
All four suspects will appear at Highbury Corner Youth Court on 21 August.
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