Lance Reyna: Transgendered Man's Attacker Is Free
This summer we reported on the assault against Lance Reyna, a Houston Community College student who was assaulted in a bathroom on the main campus.
Reyna, a transgendered man, is a vocal leader in the HCC GLBT community, and supporters believed he was the victim of a hate crime.
A man was arrested and charged with assault, but not with a hate crime.
Now that suspect, Terrance Calhoun, has been released from jail, and Reyna is worried.
The Dallas Voice reports that Reyna's Facebook page has featured posts from him about the development.
I just got informed that my attacker is out of JAIL, someone please calm me down because I'm about to lose it," Reyna wrote on Facebook yesterday.
"I feel hopeless right now, plus all the bullying not being taken serious is something I can relate from my younger days in school," he added last night.
"Just spoke with HPD investigator, threatening text message has been documented. When number was ran it came up with a history," Reyna wrote this morning.
Reyna was attacked in the HCC bathroom June 22. He said his attacker, who was robbing him, uttered epithets like "queer" and "faggot."
The Harris County DA will not pursue hate crime charges, however. A DA spokeswoman told us at the time the decision was made that doing so would unnecessarily complicate the case:
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."