A Kingsessing woman has been charged with criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, and related offenses one month after she and several other people attacked a transgender woman inside her home, police said Friday.
Tymesha Wearing, 34, was among the crowd that assaulted Kendall Stephens on Aug. 24 in Point Breeze, according to investigators. The group descended on Stephens, 34, after she threatened to call the police on them for being loud and disruptive.
Wearing and other women forced their way into Stephens' home and punched, scratched, and clawed at her while calling her a “tranny” and other derogatory names, Stephens told The Inquirer shortly after the attack. At one point, Wearing picked up a wooden planter from Stephens' porch and hit her over the head with it, police said.
“This is a hate crime,” said Stephens. “For someone to come into your home and hurl transphobic slurs, that shows hateful intent.”
Stephens, a student at Temple University, said the woman who had hit her with the planter — whom police identified as Wearing — was standing outside a home about five doors down from hers “laughing” after the attack.
Her goddaughters, ages 12 and 16, witnessed the assault, and have been traumatized by it, she said.
“I don’t understand why this would happen to me,” Stephens said. “This is very frightening.”
She was treated at Jefferson Health’s Methodist Hospital for various injuries — including a broken nose, cuts to her gums, mouth, and lips, and facial swelling.
Wearing remained in custody Friday in lieu of $10,000 bail. She is scheduled to appear in front of a judge for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 14.
She also has been charged with ethnic intimidation, a summary offense. District Attorney Larry Krasner said Friday that cases like this are a testament as to why the state legislature should expand Pennsylvania’s hate crime statute and its protections to LGBTQ residents.
“When discrimination is enshrined in our laws and policies, the state gives tacit permission to treat people who present differently as less than equally and fully human," Krasner said. "Black trans women are among our most vulnerable loved ones and neighbors – vulnerable to job and housing discrimination, to poverty, and to violence.
“I stand with the majority of Pennsylvanians who support equal treatment for everyone under the law, and urge our representatives in Harrisburg to ensure LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination and hate," he added. "It is shameful that in the year 2020, the Commonwealth has yet to recognize the humanity and dignity of all of us.”