PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man convicted of punching a transgender woman has been sentenced to probation.
Dominick Gonzales, 38, changed his plea Friday and was convicted of first-degree bias crime for punching the woman in Northwest Portland in September, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill said in a news release.
The victim, who is white and was wearing a dress, was standing in line for free coffee and food for homeless people on September 29 when Gonzales started yelling at her, using racial and homophobic hate speech, the release said.
Gonzales punched her in the face, splitting her lower lip open. Gonzales fled on a bicycle before police caught him.
He received three years of probation and credit for time served. He served 75 days in jail was expected to be released to his probation officer.
“These bias crimes are extremely hurtful for the victims and our community,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney BJ Park, who prosecuted this case. “Everyone deserves to feel safe. When someone commits a crime, especially one rooted in hate, we must act to ensure accountability.”
While on probation, he will not be allowed to contact the victim. He must also complete evaluations for mental health and substance abuse disorder.
“I wasn’t raised like that, and I do apologize and regret my actions,” he said in court after pleading no contest to the hate crime, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
“What was going on that day?” asked Multnomah County Circuit Judge Angel Lopez.
“It was a mistake,” Gonzales said.