Stephen E. Thompson, 45, was charged Monday in Douglas County Court with one count of third-degree assault that is being prosecuted as a felony hate crime. A judge set bail at $50,000. Thompson must pay 10 percent of that amount to be released from jail.According to the police reports, Barone was bloodied and suffered a swollen lip. Her attacker reportedly called her a faggot and other anti-gay slurs. Her account of the assault was reportedly confirmed in the police report by an independent witness of the assault.
Kara Jeslyn Barone, 27, of Omaha, said she went to the Down Under Lounge at 3630 Leavenworth St. on Friday night with friends.
Barone, who said she has been transitioning from male to female for three years, said she and another transgender woman went into the women’s restroom shortly after arriving. Thompson’s girlfriend, an acquaintance of Barone’s, also was in the restroom.
Barone said Thompson, listed in a police report as 6 feet tall and 160 pounds, began kicking the door and trying to force his way into the restroom. “I pushed him back outside,” Barone said Tuesday, “and locked the door.”
Barone, who is 5 feet 8 inches tall and 150 pounds, said Thompson continued pounding on the door and screaming. Thompson’s girlfriend opened the door “and that’s when he sucker-punched me,” Barone said.
Thompson was charged with one count of 3rd degree assault, which is being prosecuted as a hate crime. He faces up to five years of prison if convicted.