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Johnny Santos Moreno Of Costa Mesa Faces Hate Crime Charges In Skateboard Attack On Transgender Woman

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — A Costa Mesa man faces hate crime charges for attacking a transgender woman with a skateboard.

johnny santos moreno
(credit: Orange County District Attorney's Office)

Johnny Santos Moreno, 23, was charged Friday with a felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon, a threatening a witness and a felony hate crime enhancement.

According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Moreno hurled homophobic slurs at the unidentified woman, then used his skateboard to hit her repeatedly, on March 11. He also threatened a passing motorist who witnessed the attack and called the Costa Mesa police.

"No one should have to live in the shadow of fear that they will be targeted and physically attacked because of the way they dress, behave, or who they love," Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. "Our differences – whether the color of our skin, our sexuality, or our religion – should be causes for the celebration of our diversity, not targets on our backs for haters to mock, deride, harass, and harm us."

Moreno is being held on $58,000 bail, according to Orange County jail records. If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison.

Moreno's next court appearance is scheduled for March 26.

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