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Trans sex worker assaulted

Vancouver police have the name and phone number of the man who allegedly sexually assaulted a transgendered sex worker at gunpoint in the West End Sep 12, a spokesperson for the victim says.

According to Jamie Lee Hamilton, who says she’s been in touch with the assaulted woman (who is reluctant to speak publicly), the man set up a date by phone and showed up at an apartment on Burnaby St with the agreed-upon $1,000 in cash.

Hamilton says pressure needs to be put on the police for an arrest. She says the fact the victim is a “working girl” should not deter police from pursuing the case.

“Her understanding is the police don’t have enough to lay charges,” Hamilton says. “I guess it would be her word against his.”

Police did not return Xtra West’s follow-up calls by press time.

Last week Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Lindsay Houghton confirmed police were called to an apartment on Burnaby St at about 4 am Sep 12 where they found the victim of the assault. “Other than the sexual assault, the victim wasn’t injured,” Houghton said. “The gun wasn’t fired.”

Police said Sep 18 there was no new information on the case.

Hamilton says the victim believes the attacker has done this before.

From what she’s been told, Hamilton suspects it could be a case of an attacker’s sexual self-loathing translating into transphobic violence. “It’s easier to act out on a trans person than a gay man who might be stronger,” she says.

Houghton says the police department’s hate crime unit was informed of the incident immediately and will be conducting a parallel investigation.

The 20-something victim refused to speak with Xtra West directly. She did, however, authorize Hamilton, a long-time transsexual prostitution advocate, to speak for her.

Hamilton says the victim told her the man had his head covered by a hoodie and kept pulling up material to cover the rest of his face.

“She asked for the money, the gun was pulled,” says Hamilton. “He put the gun to her spine and sexually assaulted her without a condom.”