Costa Mesa man pleads guilty to attacking transgender woman with skateboard

WESTMINSTER (CNS) - A 23-year-old Costa Mesa man pleaded guilty today and was immediately sentenced to six months in jail for attacking a transgender woman with his skateboard.

Johnny Santos Moreno pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of assault, and single felony counts of violation of civil rights with violent injury and dissuading a witness by force.

As part of the plea deal, a hate crime sentencing enhancement was dismissed and the assault count was knocked down from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Moreno, who has been in custody since March 11, was also placed on two years of formal probation.

He hurled an anti-gay slur at the victim before repeatedly hitting her with the skateboard, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

A driver passing by saw the attack and called police.

He was charged with dissuading a witness by force for threatening a bystander who called police.

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