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Man allegedly stabbed a transgender woman in the face

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A man accused of stabbing a transgender woman in the face in Harlem last month has been indicted on hate crimes charges.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg announced the charges Thursday.

“As alleged, this defendant hurled hateful words and slurs before this violent attack,” Bragg said in a press release. “It is a miracle that the victim was not severely injured – or even killed – and we wish her a speedy recovery.”

According to the release, 49-year-old Ashlon Williams confronted the 36-year-old victim and a friend in front of an apartment building on Frederick Douglass Boulevard in the Manhattan borough shortly after midnight on November 1.

Willams told the pair to quiet down because people were trying to sleep. He allegedly misgendered the victim and called her an anti-LGBTQ+ slur.

He then stabbed her twice in the face with “a sharp object,” causing lacerations above her right eye. Williams then pulled out a gun and fired at the victim three times, missing her each time, before fleeing on a moped.

Williams is charged with assault in the second degree as a hate crime, attempted assault in the first degree as a hate crime, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and menacing in the second degree as a hate crime.

The indictment comes a week after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin warning that the LGBTQ+ community was among several potential targets for extremist violence and bias-motivated attacks. Transgender and gender nonconforming people are at particular risk.

According to the HRC, at least 34 transgender and gender nonconforming people have been killed in the U.S. this year. In a recent report, released last month, the LGBTQ+ rights organization found that Black transgender women comprise 63 percent of victims of fatal violence against trans and gender nonconforming people. Additionally, 85 percent of victims were trans women and 85 percent were people of color.

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