A Detroit man entered a guilty plea on May 3 for shooting a transgender prostitute in the face in January, as community leaders called for more tolerance toward the frequently targeted demographic.
Jason L. Hogan, 27, was hit with a felony firearms charge during the commission of a felony and assault with intent to commit murder, reports WDIV. He pleaded guilty to both counts.
"This conviction demonstrates both the danger of serious crime faced by the transgender community, and the robust response to such crimes by Wayne County's law enforcement and criminal justice systems," said Dana Nessel, the president of LGBTQ justice project Fair Michigan, according to WDIV. "The Fair Michigan Justice Project has proven to be effective in filling the need for rapid and effective in filling the need for rapid and respectful response to crimes committed against LGBTQ persons."
Hogan is scheduled to attend a sentencing hearing on May 16. The two charges could land him a maximum sentence of life in prison, notes the Michigan State Legislature.
"This case highlights the mortal danger faced by transgender individuals in Michigan," said Fair Michigan's Transgender Outreach Coordinator Julisa Abad, according to WDIV. "Since Michigan law permits employment discrimination against LGBTQ residents, trans people sometimes must resort to sex work in order to survive, which puts them at extreme risk of criminal violence."
Hogan reportedly sought out the woman for sex and went with her to buy crack before discussing "specific sex acts that could only be performed on a man or a transgender woman," Nessel told The Detroit News.
During or after having sex in the car, the man reportedly pulled out a handgun, shot the woman in the face, and demanded that she left. Afraid that he would shoot her again, the woman managed to pin his arms and get him to put the gun.
"I finally get a hold of the lock without looking, opened the door and then I just jet out the car," she testified in court, according to The Detroit News. "My pants is down, my coat is in the car. I left my coat. I left the pipe, the crack pipe with some dope in there, all that stuff. I just left all that."
Nessel said that the woman appeared to have made a full recovery from the shooting.
"It is incredibly encouraging to know that the Fair Michigan Justice Project, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, and the Detroit Police Department have stated, in no uncertain terms, that violence against the transgender community is unacceptable under any circumstances and that these agencies stand ready to aggressively prosecute these brutal crimes," said Abad, according to WDIV.