A transgender woman was the victim of a hate crime at the University of North Florida on February 6. University police say it is the first reported hate crime on the campus.
The victim apparently feared legal reprisal if she used the women's restroom and so used the men's restroom in the Social Sciences building. A male followed her into the restroom, verbally assaulted her and tried to touch her inappropriately.
The suspect reportedly told the victim:
You're an ugly girl and an ugly guy and don't deserve to live.The suspect than tried to grab her breasts and stick his hand down her pants.
We certainly hope this is the first and last time we ever see something like that.It says something to me that the administration official addressing the incident is the public relations honcho.
--Sharon Ashton, Vice President of Public Relations at UNF
The school's LGBT Resource Center has reached out to help the student.
We want to help the victim feel closure and gain healing and be able to move forward and feel empowered.Legg says the LGBTRC is working on educating the campus community.
--Kaitlin Legg, program coordinator for the LGBTRC
Not knowing and confusion about who transgender people are is a common thing.UNF Police Chief C. W. Strudel said that the case is currently suspended because they have little evidence other than the victim's statement and description of the victim.
We need to catch the person that did this and hold them responsible because this is not something that should be occurring.I tried to access the UNF daily crime log for further information, but it is not available online. Neither did the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office have anything about the incident.
Ms. Legg had some more to say about the hate crime: