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French transgender assault leads to 10-month sentence

A young man has been handed a 10-month jail sentence for assaulting Julia Boyer in Paris because of her gender
A young man has been handed a 10-month jail sentence for assaulting Julia Boyer in Paris because of her gender AFP/File
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Paris (AFP)

A young man who was filmed assaulting a transgender woman was sentenced Wednesday to 10 months in prison, four of them on parole, by a Paris court.

Seddik A., 23, was found guilty of assault because of the victim's gender by the Paris Criminal Court and was ordered to abstain from contacting the victim, Julia Boyer, or appearing near her residence.

He was also ordered to pay her 3,500 euros ($3,900), and 1,500 euros to each of three LGBT defence associations that had supported her.

"Justice has been served," commented Boyer, 31, before adding: "I am not sure prison is the best solution but I hope he will think about this and not do it again."

On March 31, Boyer, who had begun "transitioning" to female eight months earlier, was singled out by a group of men near a Paris metro station in the midst of a demonstration against former Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

She was called a "filthy homo," and had beer thrown at her before video surveillance cameras shows Seddik A. touch her hair and punch her several times in the face.

Boyer escaped into the metro station with the help of several workers for the underground network.

"This trial is symbolic, because the French justice system took into account the discriminatory aspect of transphobic acts," her lawyer Etienne Deshoulieres remarked.

Seddik A. did not deny attacking the victim, but said he did not utter insults against transgender people and was not "homophobic".

His lawyer Mariame Toure called the sentence "severe" and said it was a reaction to "media frenzy about the case".

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