SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police have arrested two men they say attacked a transgender woman in downtown Spokane Friday. They're charged with attacking the woman based on her gender identity.
Police arrested 45-year old Adam Flippen and 43-year old Marc Fessler. They were booked into the Spokane County Jail just before 4:30 Tuesday afternoon.
Flippen was booked on charges of 2nd degree assault and malicious harassment. Fessler was booked for malicious harassment.
In Washington, a person is guilty of malicious harassment "if he or she maliciously and intentionally commits one of the following acts because of his or her perception of the victim's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap." It's a class C felony, comparable to burning a cross on property belonging to an African-American.
Witnesses say Jacina Scamahorn was attacked by the two men inside Boots Bakery Friday night. Witnesses describe hearing the men using hateful language as one of them kicked her. She was taken to the hospital and says she nearly lost her eye in the attack.
"These people felt that I was less than a person, that I was less than a human being," said victim Jacina Scamahorn. "They thought it was okay to treat me and talk to me the way they did."
The incident spurred outrage throughout the community and led to a show of support at Monday's City Council meeting. Dozens of people showed up to support Scamahorn and demand justice for her and other victims of hateful acts in the community.