An assault charge is serious. However, when an
assault charge accompanies a hate crime allegation, the potential penalties become
even more severe. In Maryland, a hate crime conviction carries a maximum
penalty of 10 years in prison, as well as a hefty $10,000 fine.
Two females charged in connection with the beating of a transgender woman
at a McDonald’s in a Baltimore suburb last month have been indicted
by a grand jury on various charges, including hate crime charges. The
two defendants, an 18-year-old woman and a 14-year-old girl, have been
charged with one count of first-degree assault, three counts of second-degree
assault and a recently-filed hate crime. The Baltimore County state’s
attorney apparently spent weeks determining whether to file hate crime
charges in connection with the incident and ultimately chose to do so.
The grand jury indictment also charged the two defendants with assaulting
a manager who worked at the restaurant, as well as a 55-year-old customer
who attempted to stop the attack.
The incident from which the charges stemmed occurred April 18. According
to the authorities, the two defendants allegedly assaulted a transgender
woman inside a McDonald’s store while a number of restaurant employees
watched. One McDonald’s worker apparently taped the incident and
posted the video online. This worker’s employment was later terminated.
The older defendant insists she is innocent, asserting that she acted in
self-defense. Her mother stepped up to her defense, insisting that her
daughter could never have done the violent acts she has been accused of
Both of the defendants are currently being held in jail without bond.