Idaho man who assaulted transgender woman gets over 5 years

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Posted at 5:06 PM, Feb 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 06:40:17-05

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Idaho man who brutally beat a transgender woman after she used a women’s bathroom at an Oregon coast park was sentenced Friday to nearly six years in prison.

Fred Costanza, 37, was was convicted by a Lincoln County jury last month of second-degree assault and harassment in the Aug. 24 attack that shattered Lauren Jackson’s jaw and fractured her skull, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The jury also found Costanza guilty of a first-degree bias crime under Oregon’s newly revamped hate crime law, which includes protections for those who identify as transgender.

Circuit Judge Sheryl Bachart gave Costanza a 70-month sentence, the mandatory minimum for second-degree assault, and ordered the defendant pay restitution.

“I feel so supported and validated,” Jackson told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “This kind of behavior isn’t OK.”

According to witnesses, Costanza walked across Agate Beach State Recreation Site in Newport to confront Jackson, 29, after she used the women’s public restroom at the park.

The man pulled Jackson by the hair and struck her more than 10 times before leaving the park with his wife, witnesses told police.

Jackson spent the next week in the hospital and has since settled in the Portland area.

In an interview with the newspaper, Jackson said she hopes to use her experience to “make the world a safer place for transgender people.”