Category: Misogynoir Exposed

Detroit man shoots transgender woman.

DETROIT – A 27-year-old Detroit man pleaded guilty Wednesday to shooting a transgender woman after paying her to perform a sexual act in the back seat of his car.

Jason L. Hogan pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit murder and a felony firearms charge during the commission of a felony.

Hogan met the woman Jan. 13 and arranged to pay for sexual activity in the back of his car, police said. After performing a sex act, Hogan shot her in the face with a handgun.

The woman escaped from Hogan and was treated at Grace Hospital.

Detroit police investigated the case and arrested Hogan.

“This case highlights the mortal danger faced by transgender individuals in Michigan,” Fair Michigan’s Transgender Outreach Coordinator Julisa Abad said. “Since Michigan law permits employment discrimination against LGBTQ residents, trans people sometimes must resort to sex work in order to survive, which puts them at extreme risk of criminal violence. It is incredibly encouraging to know that the Fair Michigan Justice Project, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Detroit Police Department have stated, in no uncertain terms, that violence against the transgender community is unacceptable under any circumstances and that these agencies stand ready to aggressively prosecute these brutal crimes.”

Hogan is expected to return to court May 16 for a sentencing hearing.

“This conviction demonstrates both the danger of serious crime faced by the transgender community, and the robust response to such crimes by Wayne County’s law enforcement and criminal justice systems,” Fair Michigan President Dana Nessel said. “The Fair Michigan Justice Project has proven to be effective in filling the need for rapid and effective in filling the need for rapid and respectful response to crimes committed against LGBTQ persons.”

FURTHER COVERAGE

A 27-year-old Detroit man charged in the shooting of a transgender prostitute in January has pled guilty, the Fair Michigan Justice Project announced Thursday.

Jason L. Hogan pled guilty on Wednesday to two charges, court records show: assault with intent to commit murder, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He will be sentenced on May 17 before Judge Paul Cusick in Wayne County Circuit Court.

On Jan. 13, Hogan sought the services of a transgender woman prostitute in the area of Palmer Park, on Woodward, confirmed Officer Jennifer Moreno, a Detroit Police Department spokeswoman.

He picked the 31-year-old up in a black Jeep and stopped at an ATM at the Sunoco Gas Station on the 16200 block of Oakland to pull out $60, according to the transcript of a court proceeding in the case. From that money, the woman bought crack and a crack pipe that the two could share.

With the drugs obtained, Hogan drove the pair to the back of Michael’s liquor store, on the 17900 block of Nevada, a spot the victim testified she chose because she’d taken clients there before. The two had to move a baby seat in the car before performing sex acts, according to the transcript.

Then he shot the woman in the face with the handgun, the transcript read.

Three shots were fired. The first shot hit the victim in the left side of her nose. The victim heard the gunshot and saw blood before she felt pain.

According to the victim’s account, Hogan began blaming the shooting on him being drunk, and said he wanted to kill himself. Eventually, he said: “I’m going to give you ’til (the count of) 10 to leave.”

But the victim didn’t want to leave immediately, for fear that she’d be shot in the back of the head as soon as she turned around. It was only when Hogan put the gun down, and the victim was able to hold his arms down, that she was able to make her escape.

“I finally get a hold of the lock without looking, opened the door and then I just jet out the car. My pants is down, my coat is in the car. I left my coat. I left the pipe, the crack pipe with some dope in there, all that stuff. I just left all that,” the victim testified.

The victim ran back onto John R., hoping to flag someone down, but no one stopped to help. She doubled back to the crack house, but was told to leave, because she’d come to the house bleeding.

In the end, “some guy that I decide to beg that left the crack house” finally gave her a ride to Sinai Grace Hospital, but only after the victim “offered to buy him some rocks to drop me off.”

Detroit Police Department followed up and made the arrest. The Fair Michigan Justice Project, a public-private partnership between the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the Fair Michigan Foundation, handled the prosecution. Since the project was announced in July 2016, it has brought charges in 13 cases, secured eight convictions, and five cases are making their way through the system, said Dana Nessel, president of the Fair Michigan Justice Project.

In an interview with The News, Nessel said it was “very clear” that Hogan “solicited (the victim’s) services because she was a transgender woman.” She continued: “They discussed specific sex acts that could only be performed on a man or a transgender woman.”

Months after the shooting, Nessel said, based on the woman’s ability to appear and testify in court: “She seems as though she’s recovered from her injuries. She had no difficulty speaking, and was lucky the shot didn’t do a great deal more damage.”

Black students find bananas on nooses at college campus

Washington D.C.- American University is investigating after bananas scrawled with racist messages were found hanging from fixtures around the Washington D.C. campus Monday morning.

The bananas, strung up in black noose-like rope, were marked with the words “Harambe bait” — a reference to the lowland gorilla who was shot at the Cincinnati zoo to — and “AKA free” in reference to Alpha Kappa Alpha, a predominantly Black sorority, and were found in three different places on campus.

The university president spoke out against the incident on Monday, calling it a “crude and racially insensitive act of bigotry.”

“Racially charged acts of bigotry are done to instill fear and inflict pain in our community—especially at stressful times, such as at the end of the term,” university President Dr. Neil Kerwin said in a statement on Monday night. “I regret this happened, apologize to everyone offended, and state emphatically that this incident does not reflect what American University truly is.”

The campus president continued to state that despite the “targeted” nature of the incident, “our entire university community has been adversely affected by this cowardly, despicable act.”

This is not the first time there has been a racial incident involving bananas reported at American University. Last September, a banana was thrown at a black student who was among a group from the Black Student Alliance preparing for a demonstration. There was also a report of a banana being placed near another black female student’s door.

The university’s Department of Public Safety is investigating, and surveillance video from around campus is being reviewed.

White male Student makes Craigslist ad to sell black classmates as plantation slaves

A high school student in Florida photographed two black female classmates and uploaded the photo to the Craigslist. The ad was titled “Two slaves for sale” with a price $470. The ad was geographically tagged to “Fleming Island Plantation,” which is an actual place in Clay County, Florida.

Skye Fefee, one of the girls in the photo, said she first saw the image when a friend sent it to her on Snapchat. By then, it had been shared and passed around by several students at the school.

“I feel disturbed by it,” Skye, a senior, told CNN. “It shows me that there is still a lot of racism in this school.”

Autumn Olsen is friends with the girls in this Craigslist ad. Olsen said, “I was mind blown about it, I’m surprised that this type of thing is still happening in 2017.”

The ad titled: Two Slaves for Sale 470 dollars. The description: Two healthy slave gals for sale. Good condition hard work ethic. If you need another pair of hands in the farm or house you are in luck.

The ad has since been taken down but it still lives on social media through comments like this: “It’s sad. Parents send kids to school to get an education and kids have to deal with stuff like this. This is wrong on so many levels.”

The student who posted it – a senior at Fleming Island High School – has since been suspended and is facing possible expulsion.

These girls’ classmates stand by them and hope everyone learns a valuable lesson from this.

The Clay County school district said in a statement: “We do not tolerate this type of behavior and we are disheartened that any of our students would be subject to discrimination. Fleming island high school administration and district leadership are working together to create a school-wide plan of action to strengthen the climate and culture while celebrating the school’s diversity.”You

She didn’t laugh at racist jokes. Her coach said she didn’t have the right ‘chemistry’ for the team.

Jasmine Orsted said the comments began almost immediately after she started practicing with other hopefuls seeking spots on the University of Mary Washington’s women’s basketball team.

One white player openly mused about “why black people name their kids the way they do,” Orsted recalled. Another white woman responded that she “never had to worry about that,” because her high school “wasn’t in the ghetto,” adding that she was glad there were only one or two black players on her high school team.

“I was astounded,” Orsted said of her 2014 experience at the Fredericksburg, Va., school. “I couldn’t believe that somebody would actually say that, especially in the presence of somebody that’s black.”

Orsted was ultimately barred from trying out for the team because of what the coach deemed a lack of “chemistry” with other players, according to her lawsuit. Believing that “chemistry” meant tolerating racism, Orsted sued the university in federal court in Virginia and settled last month for $160,000.

As part of the agreement, Mary Washington did not acknowledge wrongdoing. But it did commit to bringing in an outside professional to lead annual sensitivity and inclusion training for staff and students in the Athletic Department. And any student who participates in preseason activities for a sport will now be guaranteed a tryout.

The lawsuit comes at a time when many college campuses have been working to confront instances of racism. Orsted, who now attends Bowie State University on a basketball scholarship, said she hopes her decision to take a stand, instead of ignoring the comments, helps others. Without the support of her family and a youth coach, she said, she probably would “have been one of the ones to cry and just be sad.”

“I just want anybody else who goes though this to know that they have to believe in themselves and not let anybody make them think that they’re being too sensitive, that they’re the issue,” she said. “Not let the bullies win.”

As a condition of the settlement, Orsted will not disparage the school; however, she is allowed to recount the contentions in the lawsuit.

Orsted had come to Mary Washington in 2014 to play basketball, a sport she had loved since childhood. Because she had outperformed some of the university’s players during a year at Northern Virginia Community College, she was hopeful she’d spend a lot of time on the court. She could also save money by living at home in nearby Woodbridge, and her parents would be able to attend her games.

But as the preseason went on, the racial comments continued, Orsted said. One player expressed fear of going to a black church. Another said that black girls don’t shave because their legs are dark. When a girl said she had gone to Haiti, Orsted said another white player asked, “So, did you get a picture with a skinny little hungry black boy?”

When she was asked about her heritage, Orsted told the other women that she had an African American mother and a Norwegian father. She said they were incredulous.

“ ‘So you have a white dad who married a black woman and they had a baby together?’ ” she recalled one player asking. “And they just all fell on the ground laughing. And I’m standing there like — this is 2014 at the time, that’s not something unheard of, I don’t understand how it could be funny.”

There were two black players already on the team. Orsted said one made her own jokes about race — for example, saying that she was the rare black person who could swim. The other black player, according to Orsted, would laugh along with the white players at racial comments.

The only people who didn’t laugh, she said, were Orsted and another black newcomer. That student testified in a deposition that when she confronted other players about a racial joke, they responded with “weird looks” and began distancing themselves from her. The student, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, was also cut from the team before tryouts and has since left the school.

Orsted still wanted to try out. She thought that once the coach was present, the comments would stop, and that the other girls would begin to respect her as a teammate.

But about two weeks before tryouts, coach Deena Applebury called her in for a meeting and suggested she try a different sport.

“I don’t know if this is going to work, all right?” Applebury said, according to a transcript included in court papers, adding that she had heard Orsted was not “really bonding with the kids.”

Orsted brought up the racial comments, and Applebury promised to look into them. But, she added, “when you have, you know, a group versus one person, I kind of have to go to the group because it’s a team sport, for right, wrong, or otherwise.”

There’s a transcript because, at her mother’s prodding, Orsted secretly recorded the conversation. Sheila Holt-Orsted had also told her to keep a diary documenting jokes that made her uncomfortable.

Holt-Orsted had some experience in this area. A decade earlier she led a lawsuit — also settled — against Dickson, Tenn., for letting a known carcinogen contaminate drinking water in the county’s black neighborhood. Several members of her family died of cancer; she survived breast cancer.

“I really just thought that this could not be happening again,” Holt-Orsted said. “We’re in a situation where we just can’t back down and let people treat us indifferently.”

More confrontational than her soft-spoken daughter, she went to school officials with her husband but said she found little support. Orsted recalled that one human-resources administrator suggested that it was a “compliment” to say that black women don’t have to shave their legs.

The family sued, with the help of Alexandria civil rights attorney Victor Glasberg.

Vernon Brooks, who had coached Orsted in a youth league, described her as an “exceptional athlete.” During her time at Mary Washington, Orsted called him to vent, sometimes crying over what teammates had said. “At first, initially I thought, they’re competing. that happens a lot in college. . . . But then as we continued to talk, I could feel the emotion coming out and that it might be something more.”

After the suit began, Orsted looked through old yearbooks at the library. She noticed that in the past 14 years, there had been only three African Americans on the women’s basketball team.

Rod Wood, who had coached the men’s basketball team for 18 years at the time Orsted was attending Mary Washington, testified in a deposition that he had warned Athletic Director Ken Tyler about racial issues at the school in 2013.

 Wood recalled telling Tyler “that these are things that are happening, and that there had been other things in the past. . . . There’s always an underlying race issue.”Wood testified that Tyler told him if he pressed the issue, he would be removed as coach. That happened two weeks later.

A university spokeswoman said employees of the Athletic Department would not comment and that the university’s only statement on the lawsuit is a letter from Juliette Landphair, vice president for student affairs. Landphair said that the school settled “to mitigate the significant costs related to litigation . . . without admission of liability or wrongdoing.”

Orsted remains on the basketball team at Bowie, although she recently had to take a year off for a leg injury. In the summer of 2015, after leaving Mary Washington, she played against several members of the school’s team in a summer-league game. Her team was leading by 20 points as the game wound down. With a minute left on the clock, she said, the players from her old school left the court without shaking her hand.

Pastors use church as sex trafficking front

TOLEDO, Ohio — The FBI has arrested a Toledo church’s pastor and another man on charges of sex trafficking of children.

Cordell Jenkins, 46, and Anthony Haynes, 37, were taken into custody by FBI agents at their Toledo homes early on Friday morning, CBS affiliate WTOL-TV reports.

Jenkins is the pastor of Abundant Life Ministries in Toledo, WTOL-TV reports. Haynes rented a space at the University Bible Fellowship as the pastor of Greater Life Christian Center until 2016.

Federal documents accuse the men of recruiting, enticing and transporting people they knew were under 18 to engage in sex acts for pay. An agent’s criminal complaint says the alleged activity started three years ago with a girl who was then 14.

A U.S. magistrate judge Friday ordered Jenkins and Haynes held without bond until an April 13 hearing.

The Toledo Blade reports Jenkins shook his head “no” as charges were read and indicated he will hire an attorney. Haynes told the magistrate he needed a court-appointed attorney until he “made some phone calls.”

Trans woman murdered in Baltimore

Transgender woman Alphonza Watson, 38, was found dead after being shot in Baltimore early Wednesday morning, the Baltimore Sun reported.

“At this time, we don’t have a lot to go on,” Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith told the Baltimore Sun. “What we know is that there was apparently some sort of argument that took place.”

Watson was shot in the stomach at about 4:15 a.m. and taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Witnesses told police they heard someone yelling for help, followed by gunshots. Two men were seen running away before getting into a “dark-colored vehicle.”

LGBTQ advocacy group GLSEN Baltimore released a statement about Watson’s death on Facebook, announcing safe spaces for community members who need to grieve.

New reparative surgery created for victims of female genital mutilation

There is new hope for the hundreds of millions of women worldwide who have been subjected to genital mutilation.

A surgeon in university of Pennsylvania  Medicine’s Center for Human Appearance has developed a reconstructive procedure that can increase sexual function and, patients’ early experiences suggest, help heal the emotional and psychological wounds associated with the mutilation. Ivona Percec, an assistant professor of Surgery in the division of Plastic Surgery, reports on her use of the technique in three patients this month in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal. She also calls for greater awareness of this human rights issue in support of women who’ve suffered these experiences across the world.

“Plastic surgeons have a crucial role to play in this recovery, and it’s important for physicians to be informed and prepared to address the surgical and emotional needs of women who seek care for this,” Percec said. “Our procedure is simple yet effective and can help victims restore their physical and psychological sense of well-being.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as, “any procedure that intentionally alters or causes injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons and with no health benefits.” An estimated 200 million women have been subjected to FGM around the world, usually between the first week of life and adolescence, and often by their caregivers. It is a cultural ritual in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia to encourage female sexual fidelity. It is internationally recognized as a violation of human rights.

FGM can also have long-term consequences, including severe pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, cysts, recurrent infections, and even death.

All three women were between the ages of 30 and 33 and had recently immigrated to the United States from Sierra Leone. In each case, the women were married but had not told their husbands they had undergone FGM as children.

“These women were embarrassed that they were subjected to this procedure, in particular since relocating to the United States,” Percec said. “All of them were able to have intercourse, but without pleasure – usually with pain.”

The patients wanted to know if there were any surgical options available to help them look and feel more normal. After Percec’s research turned up little in the way of established procedures, she used her knowledge of other reconstructive techniques in hopes of restoring appearance and function.

With an average follow up of almost a year, all three patients reported improved sexual function and decreased embarrassment with their partners. All three women said they would recommend this procedure to others who have suffered FGM.

“Female genital mutilation is a violation of the basic rights of women and children,” Percec said. “As nations around the world work to eliminate this custom, plastic surgeons can play an important role in the physical, emotional, and psychological recovery of women everywhere.”