EAST BOSTON – In a courtroom on the same block the alleged assault took place, a bench trial began for a woman accused of attacking a mother and daughter for speaking Spanish.
Stephanie Armstrong, 27, is facing four charges for assault and civil rights violations from a February 2020 incident.
Sarah Vasquez testified Wednesday that she and her daughter were walking with two friends from the Maverick MBTA stop when two women started following them.
Those women, according to Vasquez, started yelling racially charged statements at the group.
"Go back to your country." And "This country speaks English" Vasquez testified.
The mother of two testified that things turned physical from there. One of the women started hitting her and Armstrong joined in.
Vasquez told the court she received injuries to her neck face and hand. He said her hair was pulled out too.
"Both of the victims were hit," said prosecutor Amelia Sing with the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. "Both of their hair was pulled and that was down by the defendant within this case."
Armstrong is facing four charges, but some civil rights attorneys said they believe the charges should be more severe.
"Our clients were told to go back to their country and speak English. That's what we feel," said Civil Rights Attorney Myraida Melendes.
Armstrong's attorney suggested his client had been drinking the night of the assault and went after the mother and daughter because they were laughing at his client, not because of the language they were speaking.
The judge in this trial is expected to announce a sentence for Armstrong on Thursday morning.
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