Fair Michigan Justice Project Secures Another Conviction

Detroit Man Plead Guilty After Shooting Transgender Woman

BY KATE OPALEWSKI

The Fair Michigan Justice Project has proven to be effective in filling the need for rapid and respectful response to crimes committed against LGBTQ persons. The non-profit organization secured another conviction on Wednesday when 27-year-old Jason Hogan pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit murder and a felony firearms charge during the commission of a felony.

On Jan. 13 Hogan met a transgender woman and arranged to pay for sexual activity in the back of his car. After performing a sex act, Hogan shot her in the face with a handgun. She escaped from Hogan, and sought treatment for her injury at Grace Hospital. A Detroit Police investigation led to Hogan's arrest. The case was assigned to Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz of the FMJP.

"That's eight convictions now. We have 13 cases charged, so five still working their way through the system, and several more investigations pending. No dismissals. No acquittals, and nearly all are capital cases," said Dana Nessel president of Fair Michigan, which collaborates with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to focus on homicides and other capital offenses committed against members of the LGBTQ community.

Nessel points to the number of active felony cases FMJP has been able to charge since starting the project in July 2016.

"We knew assaults against the LGBTQ community were a problem, but even our staff has been alarmed at just how many incidents of hate crime there actually are. It's terrifying," said Nessel, noting the types of crimes being investigated and prosecuted range widely from felony assault and felony firearm to homicide, criminal sexual conduct, carjacking, rape, child abuse, armed robbery and assault with intent to commit murder.

"This case highlights the mortal danger faced by transgender individuals in Michigan," said Julisa Abad, FMJP's transgender outreach coordinator.

"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. 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."

Hogan's sentencing hearing is May 16 in the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County.

Follow the organization's progress at http://www.fairmichigan.org/ or visit the Fair Michigan Justice Project Facebook page.
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