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Teen Sentenced to 5 Yrs for Transgender Beating

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on September 14, 2011 1:12 PM

Teonna Mae Brown, the 19-year-old who took part in a transgender beating in a Maryland McDonald's in April, was sentenced to 5 years in prison on Tuesday.

Brown pleaded guilty to beating transgender woman Chrissy Lee Polis, 22, inside the fast food restaurant last month, reports the New York Daily News.

Polis was attacked after she came out of the women's bathroom in the restaurant. Police say that the attack came after the two teens complained to an employee that a man had gone into the ladies restroom, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Surveillance footage shows that Polis was not bothering the two teens before she was attacked, The Baltimore Sun reports.

A worker at the McDonald's restaurant videotaped the incident and uploaded a copy of the attack online, where it received national attention.

Brown and a 14-year-old girl admitted to attacking Polis and was charged with assault and a hate crime. However, Brown could have faced a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison for her crimes.

Instead, Brown was sentenced to a total of 10 years behind bars. Five years of her sentence was suspended, MSNBC reports.

Suspended sentences are typically used when sentencing first-time offenders, or for less serious crimes.

Essentially, judges who suspend a sentence are reserving the right to enforce a sentence in the future. A suspended sentence can be revoked, and the court can impose the rest of the sentence later on. This usually occurs if the defendant violates a condition of the suspension.

But for now, Teonna Brown will be facing at least five years in prison. Her 14-year-old co-defendant in the transgender beating case remains in a juvenile facility where she could remain until she is 21, reports MSNBC.

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