Metro Weekly

Idaho man who beat Oregon transgender woman for using the restroom sentenced to 6 years in prison

Victim says she hopes to use her experience to "make the world safer for transgender people"

idaho, trans, transgender, fred joseph constanza

Fred Joseph Costanza – Photo: Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

An Idaho man who brutally beat a transgender woman for using a women’s bathroom at an Oregon state park has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Fred Joseph Constanza, 37, of Blackfoot, Idaho, was convicted by a Lincoln County (Ore.) jury last month of second-degree assault and harassment, for punching Lauren Jackson in her face multiple times, shattering her jaw and fracturing her skull.

The jury also found Costanza guilty of a first-degree bias crime under Oregon’s newly revised hate crime law, which includes enhancements for crimes directed against individuals because of the gender identity.

Circuit Judge Sheryl Bachart sentenced Costanza to 70 months in jail — the minimum for second-degree assault — and ordered him to reimburse Jackson for medical costs.

According to witnesses, Costanza had gone to Agate Beach State Recreation Site in Newport, Ore., with his wife.

His wife went to the restroom, and emerged, complaining about Jackson’s presence.

Costanza then allegedly walked over to Jackson, pulled her by the hair, and struck her in the face more than 10 times before leaving the scene.

Jackson, who was homeless at the time and had recently moved to Oregon from Utah, has since relocated to Portland. She says she’s happy with the judge’s sentence.

“I feel so supported and validated,” Jackson told The Oregonian. “This kind of behavior isn’t OK.”

She said she hopes to use her experience to “make the world a safer place for transgender people.”

“We all deserve to be able to exist, and be happy,” she said.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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