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Friday, March 7, 2014

Sasha Fleischman: Boy Accused of Setting Teen in Skirt on Fire Faces Life in Prison

Posted By on Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Sasha Fleishman
  • Sasha Fleishman

Richard Thomas, the 16-year-old Oakland boy accused of setting Sasha Fleischman on fire as the teen rode the bus home from school last year, has been ordered to stand trial -- as an adult.

Thomas has been charged with aggravated mayhem, assault and hate crime charges. If convicted. Thomas could face life in jail, NBC News Reports.

See Also: Oakland Councilmembers Propose "Transgender Remembrance Day"

On Nov. 4, 2013, 18-year-old Fleischman, who identifies as agender, meaning neither male nor female, fell asleep on the 57 bus line home when someone lit Sasha's skirt on fire. The fire spread and the teen suffered second and third-degree burns.

Police later arrested Thomas, an Oakland High School student, who told the cops that he lit Sasha's skirt on fire because he's homophobic. But Thomas' attorney, William DuBois, later recanted that, saying the skit fire was a prank gone horribly wrong, not a hate crime.

DuBois says Thomas waived his right to a preliminary hearing so prosecutors won't play the bus surveillance video of the incident in court, according to NBC.

No trial date has been set.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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