Felony hate crime allegations were dismissed Wednesday against two men accused of assaulting and robbing a transgender woman near San Francisco’s 16th Street BART station in April, but the pair were ordered by a judge to stand trial on other charges in the case.
Lionel Jackson, 32, and Maurice Perry, 37, are accused of attacking the woman on April 1 outside the BART station at the intersection of Mission and 16th streets and taking her smartphone.
When she demanded the phone back, the pair allegedly punched her, knocking her to the ground, where they also allegedly kicked her, police said.
Alexandra Byerly, who was passing out condoms nearby as part of an HIV prevention campaign, testified on Monday in the preliminary hearing that as the suspects were fleeing the attack, one of them said, “Oh, I hate men dressed up as women.”
The two men were arrested shortly after the theft.
When the preliminary hearing ended late Wednesday afternoon, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Bruce Chan ordered Jackson and Perry to stand trial on charges of assault, second-degree robbery and violating the victim’s civil rights, but dismissed felony hate crime allegations against the pair, district attorney’s office spokesman Seth Steward said.
District Attorney George Gascón has scheduled an 11:30 a.m. news conference today to discuss the judge’s decision to dismiss the hate crime allegations and has invited several city officials and local LGBT community groups to join him, Steward said.
The news conference will take place at the District Attorney’s Office in the San Francisco Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St.
Jackson and Perry will return to court on July 7 for formal arraignment on the other charges.