A man named Johnny Santos Moreno, who admitted to bludgeoning a trans woman with his skateboard, will serve no more than six months in jail .
The 23-year-old, from Costa Mesa, California was heard yelling a homophobic slur at the victim before striking her repeatedly her with his skateboard back in March.
He was only interrupted when someone driving past the scene saw what was happening and called the police, the court heard. Moreno used his skateboard to threaten the bystander for reporting the incident to authorities.
The man was charged with felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon with an added hate crime enhancement. He was also charged with threatening a witness by force for harassing the bystander.
Moreno pled guilty and as part of a plea deal the courts dismissed the hate crime element of the violent attack. As a result the assault count was downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanour, reducing his sentence significantly.
He has been in custody since 11 March and will remain there until the end of his sentence. In addition to the brief jail time he has also been placed on two years of formal probation.
Speaking in a statement to the East Bay Times shortly after Johnny Santos Moreno’s arrest, district attorney Todd Spitzer said: “No one should have to live in the shadow of fear that they will be targeted and physically attacked because of the way they dress, speak, behave, or who they love.
“Our differences – whether the colour of our skin, our sexuality, or our religion – should be causes for the celebration of our diversity, not targets on our backs for haters to mock, deride, harass, and harm us.
“Those who engage in hate-motivated crimes will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law here in Orange County.”
If convicted on all counts of the original hate crime charges Moreno have could been sentenced to up to eight years in prison. Now the fullest extent of the law will let him walk free by September.