August 23, 2008

Grand Jury recognises a Woman's Right to Self-Defense

Grand jury refused to indict Donyel Hormats of murder charge, concluding that she acted in self-defense in the fatal stabbing of a man who tried to force her to work as a prostitute for him. Some details from The Oregonian:

Hormats told authorities she was carrying a hunting knife for protection because she had been assaulted on Southeast 82nd Avenue two nights earlier by Christopher Darrell Richardson.

Portland police say Richardson, 21, originally from Los Angeles, was involved in a gang, and officers are noticing a nexus between gang activity and street prostitution along Southeast 82nd Avenue.


Hormats told authorities she had sprayed Richardson with mace and ran Aug. 13 after he grabbed her on Southeast 82nd Avenue and tried to get her to work for him.

Hormats was charged with attempted prostitution and prostitution procurement that night on Southeast 84th Avenue and Yamhill Street and reported the assault to police.

Two nights later, Hormats told police she was sitting on the curb on Southeast Morrison Street, near 82nd Avenue, about 8 p.m. when a car full of people drove by, then suddenly backed up.

According to Hormats' lawyer, Barry Engle, one person in the car shouted at Hormats, "I'll teach you!" Richardson was among three or four people who got out of the car and approached Hormats. She ran but said Richardson grabbed her arm and swung her around. Another man punched her in the back of the head.

Hormats told police she then stabbed Richardson once in the chest with her hunting knife. He died at a local hospital later that night.


Portland police say they're hoping to increase penalties for women and johns who are frequently arrested, and finding ways to connect the women to social services. One idea is to have the courts move the cases out of community court, where they now land, and put the offenders under supervised probation, Golliday said.

Hello Portland Police? Donyel reported her assault on August 13, and all you did was to arrest her? Clearly, something is not working with the current approach to crimes in the 82nd Avenue area, and it's not that the penalties are too light for the women charged with prostitution.

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