First federal gender-based hate crime trial starts in South Carolina over trans woman’s killing

February 20, 2024

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The first federal trial over a hate crime based on gender identity is set to begin Tuesday in South Carolina, where a man faces charges that he killed a Black transgender woman and then fled to New York. In 2022, the number of gender identity-based hate crimes reported by the FBI increased by 37% compared to the previous year. Until 2009, federal hate crime laws did not account for offenses motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. A Mississippi man who pleaded guilty to killing a 17-year-old transgender woman received a 49-year prison sentence. Never before has a federal jury decided whether to punish someone for a crime based on the victim’s gender identity.