Richard Thomas, 17, faces a sentence of up to seven years in prison after a plea agreement was reached Thursday in which he admitted to a charge of felony assault assault with an enhancement of inflicting great bodily injury, reports KNTV.
The attack left 18-year-old Sasha Fleischman, who identifies as agender rather than as male or female, hospitalized for nearly three weeks with second and third-degree burns below the waist.
According to reports, Thomas, who was 16 at the time of the incident, had set Fleischman’s skirt, and subsequently legs, on fire while riding a bus home from school on Nov. 4, 2013. Surveillance video from the bus led to Thomas’ arrest a few days after the attack.
Thomas was charged as an adult in the case, but under the plea deal, hate crime and aggravated mayhem charges — which carry a sentence of up to life in prison — were dropped.
Fleischman’s parents said in a statement that they had “mixed emotions” about the prison sentence, and had fought to have Thomas tried in juvenile court, not as an adult.
In an effort to help combat violence and tell the stories of individuals within the LGBTQ community, TheatreLAB and Richmond Triangle Players have once again partnered with the Virginia Anti-Violence Project (VAVP) on the piece, “NERVE: Stories of Queer Resilience.” Led in concept by director Melissa Rayford, the piece brings real-life stories of resilience and [...]