SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Prosecutors in San Francisco Monday said they will not be filing charges against a transgender woman arrested Friday on suspicion of domestic violence but who has supporters who said she had been defending herself.
Davia Spain, a 23-year-old performing artist and filmmaker who works for the SF LGBT Center, was arrested Friday on suspicion of domestic violence, battery and burglary.
In an online campaign launched after her arrest, supporters said Spain was defending herself while confronting a person over an alleged sexual assault.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi said attorneys from his office spoke with Spain over the weekend and based on their preliminary investigation they are “confident” the incident was self-defense.
“This was a situation where the encounter occurred and she was forced to defend herself, this was not a situation where she was the attacker or the aggressor, so for that reason we want this charge to be dismissed,” he said.
An online petition calling for Spain’s release had gathered 1,870 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
“She is an important member of our Bay Area TLGB community and we would like her to return home to us as soon as possible,” the petition reads. “We know that these charges do not have merit, we know that Ms. Spain is not a danger to society and we know that she is unsafe inside SF County Jail. Please consider the voice of the community and release Davia Spain.”
Rebecca Rolfe, a spokeswoman for the SF LGBT Center, said the organization was “strongly supportive” of Spain.
Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, Monday afternoon said prosecutors had made the decision not to file charges after reviewing the case.
“We make charging decisions based on the law and this case will not be charged,” Bastian said.
Authorities indicated that there were multiple witnesses to the incident who gave different reports of what had occurred. Both Spain and the reporting victim, at whose home the incident occurred, had minor injuries.
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