Two men will face court next month charged in connection with an assault on trans* woman Stephanie McCarthy earlier this month which has sparked ongoing protests in Sydney’s LGBTI-centric Inner West suburb of Newtown.
NSW Police has confirmed a man was arrested on Friday at an address in Balmain, also in Sydney’s Inner West, while clothing and a small quantity of cannabis were seized.
“A 22-year-old man was charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, affray and possessing a prohibited drug,” Police told the Star Observer in a statement.
Earlier in the week, a 23-year-old was arrested at Newtown Police Station and charged with affray.
Both men have been granted conditional bail and will face court on 9 July.
It’s alleged the pair assaulted a woman in the early hours of Saturday 6 June at Newtown’s Town Hall hotel.
McCarthy was due to play a gig at the venue, also known as the Townie, on Friday night with her band Love Maul.
She alleges the men followed her around prior to the incident which left her with a black eye, bloodied lip and bruising.
Around 200 people attended a rally in Newtown last Monday (8 June) where McCarthy told the crowd: “This is not a women’s issue, or a transgender issue, or a gay and lesbian issue – this is everyone’s issue.”
The venue has copped criticism following their response to the incident with suggestions the culprits may have managed to leave the venue before police arrived and CCTV footage was too indistinct to identify those allegedly involved.
Last Sunday, police barricaded the entrance to the pub as protesters gathered outside chanting, “no transphobia,” and, “shame, Townie shame”.
Protesters returned to the venue last night while police again surrounded the premises.
The venue defended itself on Facebook and said it aimed to provide a safe and inclusive venue for all members of the community.
“A recent unfortunate incident of unwarranted violence against another person has been both shocking and deeply regrettable,” said a statement posted immediately after the incident and attributed to “The Townie Management Team”.
Despite the ordeal, McCarthy has remained definite.
Late last week, she posted on Twitter: “Getting bashed for being trans only makes me more determined to keep fighting for trans rights.
“Trans folks are here – deal with it.”
Police say investigations into the incident continue and have urged anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit the Crime Stoppers website.