Conviction upheld in assault on trans woman

Melvin Lamar Fields Sentence Based Upon an Assault Inflicting Seriously Bodily Injury

RALEIGH, N.C. — A state appeals court has upheld the conviction of a North Carolina man charged with attacking and maiming a transgender woman in a November 2015 attack.

In a ruling issued last week, the Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of Melvin Lamar Fields of Durham, N.C. for assault inflicting seriously bodily injury. The court vacated his conviction for habitual misdemeanor assault.

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Fields was indicted in 2017 on charges including attempted malicious castration or maiming of a privy member, for which he was acquitted.

Authorities say Fields attacked and tore the scrotum of the victim in November 2015. According to court records, the victim required 15 stitches and was left with a long, jagged scar.

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The ruling comes after the Dec. 9, 2019 assault of a transgender woman in a Raleigh, N.C. bar. The alleged victim reported that two women approached her in the bathroom of Milk Bar and groped and verbally abused her. According to the unnamed victim, the assault continued into the bar, where a bartender asked the women to stop. Witnesses reported that the women clearly targeted the victim for being transgender.

If found guilty, the two women, Jessica Fowler, 31, and Amber Nicole Harrell, 38, will have to register as sex offenders if convicted. Harrell was previously arrested for assault on a female in April 2018 in Holly Springs, N.C.

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