Three young women were arraigned today and face more charges for an alleged hate crime at the Forest Hills MBTA station, Suffolk County District attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
ERIKA STROUD (D.O.B. 8/20/90) of Dorchester, her sister, FELICIA STROUD (D.O.B. 8/21/93), of West Roxbury, and LYDIA SANFORD (D.O.B. 6/28/91) of Dorchester were formally charged in West Roxbury District Court today with violating the civil rights of a 43-year-old Boston man on the evening of Feb. 19.
Assistant District Attorney Lindsey Weinstein recommended that all three be held on $5,000 cash bail and be ordered to stay away from the victim and stay off the MBTA while their cases are pending. Judge Ernest Sarason set bails of $500 for Erika Stroud, $100 for Felicia Stroud, and $500 for Sanford, ordering all three to stay away from the victim, to use Forest Hills station only for school-related purposes, and to remain in school while the case is active.
The three were charged today under Ch. 269, Sect. 39, of the Massachusetts General Laws, which provides for up to 10 years in state prison for anyone who inflicts a serious bodily injury “with the intent to intimidate such person because of such person’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.” Authorities are also seeking additional charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon – a shod foot – for allegedly kicking the victim during the incident.
MBTA Transit Police detectives arrested the defendants yesterday after they admitted to taking part in the group attack.
The investigation by Transit Police detectives suggests that the victim was walking up a stairway at Forest Hills station at about 6:40 p.m. when the defendants were walking down and toward him. The victim and Felicia Stroud brushed or bumped one another as they passed.
That unremarkable incident allegedly prompted Felicia Stroud to shout homophobic slurs at the victim as he continued up the stairs. The three defendants are accused of turning and following the victim up the stairs, continuing to shout obscenities and slurs, then beating and kicking him before fleeing on foot.
Erika Stroud is represented by attorney Jude Kostas, Felicia Stroud by attorney Harold Krasnow, and Lydia Sanford by attorney Helene Tomlinson. They will return to court on March 30.