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Woman convicted for assault against Black trans woman in 2020

Digital Brief: Feb. 8, 2023 (AM)
Digital Brief: Feb. 8, 2023 (AM) 02:23

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office announced the conviction of Tymesha Wearing for her role in a brutal home invasion and group assault of a Black trans woman, Kendall Stephens, in the summer of 2020. 

Wearing pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated assault and conspiracy for her role in the violent attack on Stephens on August 24, 2020, in South Philadelphia. 

Wearing was also convicted of hate crimes, considered a summary offense in Philadelphia. A summary offense "is the most minor type of criminal offense in Pennsylvania and is often called a 'non-traffic citation,'" according to the Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.

Wearing was sentenced to 11.5 to 23 months of house arrest with electronic monitoring. She will not be eligible for parole until 18 months of home confinement, 120 hours of community service, a letter of apology to Stephens and a court-monitored anger management program are all completed.  

Pennsylvania state law does not protect LGBTQ+ people from bias crimes, Philadelphia District Attorney Krasner says.  

"There needs to be a call to action to our newly Democratically controlled State House of Representatives to push hate crime laws to include LGBTQ-identified individuals as a protected class in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. My trans siblings who met an untimely demise due to anti-trans violence are crying out from the grave and they deserve justice," Stephens said in a statement to CBS Philadelphia.

Philadelphia DA Krasner praised Stephens for her continued fight for justice.

"Ms. Stephens continues to speak out loudly on behalf of other queer victims of violent crime – all while pursuing graduate studies," DA Krasner said. 

In her victim impact statement, Stephens addresses Wearing directly. 

"I want to start by saying you are my sister and neighbor, and I forgive you. I'm still hurt because of your actions after the fact and how this matter played out in the court of common opinion years before we arrived at this conclusion in a court of law," she said.

Stephens hopes that the trial can mark a new era for progressive change and advocacy for the trans community in the eyes of the law. 

"Although Philadelphia County recognizes what happened to me as a hate crime, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's hate crime statute doesn't recognize me as a person worthy of protection because I'm transgender, I am an unworthy minority in the eyes of the law, and that needs to change, or the cycle of hate will continue."

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