Lauren Jackson, a 29-year-old transgender woman, who recently left Utah to try her hand at life in Oregon, a state she hadn’t been to before, was brutally beaten after using a woman’s bathroom at an Oregon coast park near Newport.
Jackson suffered several injuries to the face and skull, and was taken to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland for treatment. She said doctors there told her she will need reconstructive surgery, the Newport News Times reported.
The assailant, Fred Joseph Costanza, 37, of Blackfoot, Idaho, struck 10 blows which shattered her jaw in multiple places and fractured her skull.
“He kept saying, ‘Oh, you think you’re some kind of lady?'” Lauren told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “Suddenly, he punched my face. He grabbed my hair.”
The police arrested Costanza two days after the attack, Aug. 26, and he’s been charged with second-degree assault, second-degree disorderly conduct, menacing, and harassment, the Times reports. The police said he has a criminal record and was drunk at the time of the attack.
According to The Oregonian/OregonLive, Jackson said she has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support she’s received since the attack. Emails and phone calls have poured in from around the country. Members of Oregon’s LGBTQ community have reached out and welcomed her arrival.
And friends of Jackson have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her medical expenses.
While Costanza remains in the Lincoln County jail on $250,000 bail, Jackson is now staying at a short-term rental outside of Portland and looking for a permanent home, and said she will continue building the life she sees for herself around the the things she’s been given.