Lorena Delaguna, 53, was arraigned in Queens criminal court on charges stemming from the Aug. 17 confrontation with Tiffany Johnson.
“Crimes like this, which are fueled by hate, are in a special category for a reason,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a written statement. “No one should have to endure being called a vile slur or being attacked simply because of the color of their skin, their religion, or who they love.”
Judge Jeffrey Gershuny said there was a “mental health component” to the case and ordered a psychological evaluation for Delaguna.
Delaguna’s attorney, Samantha Diaz, questioned the severity of the charges, noting that Johnson hadn’t suffered physical harm.
Katz did not name the victim, but Johnson, 37, has identified herself as the person being accosted in a video that was recorded by a bystander and released by the police department last week.
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