2 men charged in attack of 3 transgender women in Hollywood
Two men have been charged in connection with an attack on three transgender women in Hollywood last month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.
DA’s Assistant Chief Greg Risling said in a statement that 29-year-old Carlton Alexander Callaway, of Compton, was charged with six criminal counts including robbery, assault and grand theft. He was arrested in connection with the case mid-August, but released last week.
News of his release drew outrage from LGBTQ activists, who demanded more transparency and accountability in the case.
The other suspect, 22-year-old Davion Williams, also from Compton, faces one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon — a rideshare scooter — and grand theft.
Prosecutors say that Callaway befriended the three victims — social media influencers Eden The Doll, Joslyn Flawless and Jaslene Busanet — before assaulting them on Hollywood Boulevard in the early hours of Aug. 17. Williams allegedly joined the attack and also stole from one of the victims, according to the DA’s office.
The assault — which was livestreamed and shared on social media — shocked many people who were appalled to see the lack of solidarity with the women.
In one video people can be seen laughing, mocking the women and yelling slurs at them.
The criminal complaint includes allegations that the crimes committed were hate crimes, and that Callaway used a steel rod as a deadly and dangerous weapon.
“He held a crow bar to my face and threatened to kill me unless I stripped my shoes off and gave him my jewelry and all my [possessions],” one of the victims, Joslyn Flawless, wrote on Instagram. “He said if I was trans, he would kill me. He then forced me to hold his hand while he looks for my friends to kill them for being trans.”
Police Chief Michel Moore described the incident as a “vicious attack on three transgender women in the Hollywood area.”
“We believe these crimes were motivated by hate because the victims were transgender women and derogatory remarks were made by the suspect about the victims,” LAPD Deputy Chief Justin Eisenberg said during a press conference last month.
If convicted, Callaway faces up to 13 years and four months in state prison, while Williams faces up to eight years and four months in state prison.