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Transgender Beating in Hollywood Not a Hate Crime?

Transgender Beating in Hollywood Not a Hate Crime?
calvinfleming / Flickr

The horrific beat-down of a transgender woman that was caught on video turned out not to be a hate crime.

That, at least, is according to the conclusion of prosecutors who have charged 21-year-old Nicol Shakhnazaryan in connection with the May Walk of Fame assault, one of two crimes that have rocked the tourist strip just as the summer season is upon us:

In another crime June 18 three panhandlers attacked a 23-year-old woman who was taking cellphone photos of them at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, police say. One of them allegedly stabbed her, and she died, authorities said.

The violence was unrelated to the severe beating of a transgender woman identified as Vivan. Police released security video and images of three or four suspects in the transgender attack.

Shakhnazaryan looks like a suspect pictured here:

According to a District Attorney's statement:

One of the males ran after the victim, kicking her to the ground. At least two other males joined in the attack, kicking the victim repeatedly in the head and body.

The victim, who was wearing an orange dress, was said to have sustained a broken jaw, broken ribs and busted eye sockets in the May 31 attack. Police said she was hospitalized for seven days.

Prosecutors charged Shakhnazaryan with "battery with serious bodily injury, assault by mean likes to produce great bodily injury and a great bodily injury allegation," according to the D.A.'s statement.

The office says that the assault wasn't a hate crime:

Prosecutors said there was no evidence the attack was motivated because the victim is a transgender woman.

Shakhnazaryan faces as many as eight years behind bars if he's successfully prosecuted, the D.A.'s office says.

The suspect pleaded not guilty. He was being held in lieu of more than $1 million bail, according to sheriff's inmate data.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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