A Baltimore woman accused of beating a transgender woman at an area McDonald’s on April 18 has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to the attack.
Teonna Monae Brown, 19, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree assault and a hate crime in the beating of Chrissy Lee Polis, 22. The April attack drew national attention after a video went viral online, and it became a rallying point for transgender-rights advocates.
Brown, who tearfully apologized in court Tuesday, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with five years suspended, plus three years of supervised probation, as prosecutors sought. The maximum sentence for the crimes is 35 years.
Polis was attacked on when she got into a confrontation with Brown and another female patron over use of the women’s restroom.
The second suspect, a 14-year-old who was charged as a juvenile in the same attack, admitted her role in juvenile court on July 1 and was committed to a locked facility, according to Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
“The whole incident is unfortunate and demonstrates the lack of knowledge and understanding, and discrimination against transgender people,” said Patrick Wojahn, board president of Equality Maryland. “If anything, five years may have been too short of an amount of time for the attack and the amount of hatred that was shown in the incident.”