Lance Reyna: An Arrest, But No Hate-Crime Charges

Categories: Courts, Crime
An easier prosecution without a hate crime angle, prosecutors say
Authorities have made an arrest in the assault of a gay-rights leader who was attacked on the central campus of Houston Community College, but no hate-crime charges will be filed.

HCC student Terrance Calhoun, 22, was charged in the assault of Lance Reyna in an HCC bathroom June 22.

But Donna Hawkins, spokeswoman for the Harris County District Attorney's office, tells Hair Balls no hate-crime charges will be filed in connection with the incident.
"Prosecuting the case as a hate crime adds an additional element for the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and it does not increase the range of punishment or enhance the time a defendant could potentially serve," DA spokeswoman Donna Hawkins said. "The hate crime allegation could be considered by a jury in punishment even if the crime is not pleaded that way."

Reyna, 29, a transgendered male, was attacked in a central-campus bathroom and had to be taken to the hospital. He said his attacker had uttered epithets like "faggot" as he attacked him.

Calhoun has been charged with aggravated robbery in the case.

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