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“Hate crime” element added in court case charging harassment of transgender teen in La Crosse park



The alleged harassment of two juveniles in a La Crosse park last month because one was transgender led to much criticism in the community, including comments by Mayor Mitch Reynolds. 

The mayor called for the state to allow such behavior to be tried as a “hate crime.” 

Suspect Travis Crawford was in court on Thursday, and his attorney Tom Locante asked for a delay because of a new twist in the case…the filing of a proposed hate crime enhancer to a charge of substantial battery.

That could lead to up to 5 years in prison if Crawford is convicted. 

Crawford is suspected of verbally abusing a juvenile couple in Copeland Park, a male and a transgender female. He’s charged with battery for reportedly kicking the male in the face.

Crawford’s preliminary hearing has been postponed until August 12th.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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