South Georgia trans woman brutally beaten

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A transgender South Georgia woman was brutally beaten, sexually assaulted and hospitalized by three men who attacked her as she met a friend for dinner and socializing. 

Livian Merritt, 20, was attacked on Feb. 14 as she planned to spend an evening with friend Deion White. But when two of White's friends arrived and discovered that Merritt was assigned male at birth, one of the men brandished a gun and they attacked her, according to WALB. 

Merritt says the night turned violent when two of White's friends showed up.

“Next thing I know I see a guy come from out of the back room with a gun, and he was like go to the room, said Merritt. “Once they realized who I was they began to beat me, and he let them.”

One of the attackers forced Merritt at gunpoint to perform oral sex on him, Merritt's father, Travis Carter, told WALB.

Merritt says at one point, one of White's friends pulled out a gun and forced him to perform a sex act.

“Because he didn't want to go any further, they beat him. Beat him really bad. Almost beat him to death,” said Carter.

Merritt suffered a broken eye socket, punctured lung and fractured jaw in the attack, which took place in Lowndes County where she lives. The county is in South Georgia and wraps around Interstate 75 on the state's border with Florida.

Merritt told WALB that she doesn't remember how she escaped the attack.

“They just kept beating me, and I forgot how I got out the door,” said Merritt.

Sheriff's deputies arrested White and charged him with battery. He is free on bond as the investigation continues, according to WALB. The case is being investigated as a hate crime, a sheriff's spokesperson told Valdosta Today, though Georgia does not have a hate crime law.

Friends have rallied to help Merritt, launching a Go Fund Me campaign to help pay medical bills. Some 58 people have donated $1,235 since Support for Livian was launched on Friday.

This family would appreciate any donations to go towards the hospital bills, and getting a superior attorney to make sure these 3 men pay for this HATE CRIME. This is exactly what this was a HATE CRIME. Livian did not deserve this, and although many may not agree with her lifestyle, many can also agree that this was awful and this could've been your child. 

[top photo via | bottom photo courtesy WALB]

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