Dewayne Kemp, 36 and Rebecca Westover, 42, an engaged couple, have plead guilty to charges that included assault in a November 15 crime against Samantha Hulsey, a young transgender woman in SoMa. The Bay Area Reporter writes that the couple admitted to the allegation that their's was a hate crime — during the incident Hulsey alleged that Westover and Kemp called her a "faggot," injured her, and even threw coffee in her face.
Sadly, one of the lawyers representing the couple added insult to injury during the arraignment. Public Defender Kwixuan Maloof, who represented Kemp, has been taken to task for referring to Hulsey as male — misgendering her — adding that he thought the case was "bullshit" and "political." Hulsey stated to the Bay Area reporter that she was "really offended and a bit upset. I think that from a legal point of view, him saying that about me is completely pointless."
The incidents prompted the Bay Area Reporter to contact Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who wrote "It is my policy that everyone associated with my office treats transgender people with respect and dignity, whether they are clients, victims [or others]... This includes referring to transgender individuals by the pronoun that reflects that person's gender identity. Mr. Maloof has expressed it was not his intention to treat Ms. Hulsey in an insensitive manner, but the buck stops with me."
Correctly gendering Hulsey, said Public Defender Maloof: "It’s a shame that someone like this woman would use her status in the LGBT community for her own selfish political motives.” He had hoped to take the case to try, but attorney Murray Zisholz, who represents Westover, called trial a "crapshoot" and insisted the couple plead guilty.
The assault was the second of the year for Hulsey, who was stabbed in January after fleeing a bus, followed by a harasser with a knife. After the second assault, she said through a bruised jaw that "It’s not OK for people to do this anywhere... but here [San Franciscans] have a reputation for being accepting."