NEWPORT — In Idaho man has been found guilty of assault and other charges stemming from an Aug. 24, 2019 attack on a transgender woman at Agate Beach State Recreation Site in Newport.
In addition to a charge of assault in the second degree, a 12-person jury found Fred Joseph Costanza, 37, a resident of Blackfoot, Idaho, guilty on charges of bias crime in the first degree and harassment. The jury found him not guilty on a charge of menacing.
A lengthy deliberation by the jury concluded a five-day trial in the courtroom of Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge Sheryl Bachart. The verdict was announced on Wednesday, Jan. 29, and Costanza is scheduled to be sentenced at 10 a.m. this Friday, Feb. 7.
The attack last August occurred after Costanza’s wife shared the women’s restroom at the state park with the victim, and then came out to complain to her husband about being harassed by a man in the women’s bathroom. This reportedly prompted the attack.
Police were called to the scene, where they observed the victim with multiple injuries to her face and a large amount of blood on the ground. Witnesses reported seeing Costanza hitting the victim in the face numerous times. The victim attempted to run away from Costanza, according to a court document, but he held her by the hair while hitting her, and she suffered jaw and skull fractures. The victim was hospitalized at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and was told by doctors that she would need several facial reconstructive surgeries.
According to the Newport Police Department report of the attack, Costanza was unemployed, was a multi-state offender and was previously arrested for failure to appear in another case. He was also drunk at the time of his arrest. He has been in the Lincoln County Jail since the time of his arrest.
Second-degree assault, a Measure 11 crime, carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and 10 months in a state correctional institution.