A homeless transgender woman was brutally attacked on an Oregon beach after using a women’s restroom, Portland’s KATU News reports.
Lauren Jackson, who had recently moved to Oregon from Utah, was beaten last Saturday at Agate Beach State Park in Newport.
According to court records, a woman who had used the public restroom with Jackson then complained to her husband, Fred Costanza, 37, about being harassed by the trans woman. Witnesses say Costanza held Jackson’s hair and punched her in the face “more than ten times.”
This is Lauren Jackson, a transgender person beaten at Agate Beach State Park for using the women’s restroom. More on the story #LiveOnK2 at 6pm pic.twitter.com/vpZCu6Bdpu
— Joe English (@JoeEnglishKATU) August 30, 2019
According to the Newport News Times, Costanza was drunk at the time of his arrest two days later. The Idaho resident is a multi-state offender who was previously arrested for failing to appear in another case.
Costanza, who is being held in the Lincoln County Jail on $140,000 bail, is currently charged with assault, menacing, harassment, and disorderly conduct. A grand jury will decide if he could be also charged with a hate crime.
Jackson, who has a broken jaw and several skull fractures from the attack, was hospitalized at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Doctors tell her she will need several facial reconstructive surgeries.
Supporters of transgender woman beaten up at coastal park gather outside the Lincoln County courthouse while grand jury hears testimony from the victim. Find out more #LiveOnK2 pic.twitter.com/uH1HRYmlMC
— Joe English (@JoeEnglishKATU) August 29, 2019
Local clergy and officials gathered outside the Lincoln County Courthouse earlier this week in support of Jackson.
“Well, frankly, it felt like a kick in the gut,” said Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall. “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.”
“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?” said Pastor Bob Barrett of Yachats Community Presbyterian Church. “The type of violence that we saw last week is wrong.”