‘Torrance Karen’ Sentenced to 45 Days in Jail for Assaulting Filipino Woman
By Carl Samson
October 7, 2020
Lena Hernandez, the Long Beach, California resident who went viral for her anti-Asian rants in June, was sentenced to 45 days for assaulting a Filipino American woman at a mall last year.
The retired social worker received the sentence on Tuesday after pleading no contest to the misdemeanor battery charge, which was filed in July and cost her a $1 bail.
The case involves Kayceelyn Salminao, who came forward with her story after watching Hernandez target other Asian Americans.
The incident, which occurred at Del Amo Fashion Center in October 2019, saw Hernandez shove Salminao to the ground, grab her by the hair and punch her “multiple times” on the back of her head.
Hernandez was verbally assaulting a custodian when Salminao tried to intervene, leading to her assault. She filed a report immediately after the incident.
However, the Torrance Police Department had not taken any palpable action until eight months later, when Hernandez became the subject of viral anti-Asian videos. Those encounters, which involved another Filipino American woman and a Japanese American man, also occurred in Torrance, earning her the nickname “Torrance Karen.”
All three victims banded together and hired Atty. Sandy Roxas in pursuit of legal action. They sent a Call for Action that detailed their experiences and demanded prosecution of Hernandez to Torrance Mayor Patrick J. Furey, Torrance City Attorney Patrick Q. Sullivan and Torrance Police Chief Eve R. Berg.
Due to “insufficient evidence,” Hernandez was charged only for the October 2019 incident involving Salminao. She was charged on July 2 and arrested the following day.
Aside from her 45-day jail sentence, Hernandez must complete a three-year probation with anger management classes and stay at least 100 yards away from both Salminao and Del Amo Fashion Center.
Salminao is disappointed with the sentence. In court, she stressed that she still suffers from psychological trauma from the attack.
“Forty-five days is what I’m valued. My safety. All the victims I had to represent since their cases were dismissed. My community. Asian Americans. We are only worth 45 days,” Salminao wrote on Twitter.
However, she added, “But at the end of the day, she was convicted. So no matter how disappointed I am, it’s a small win. Woohoo!”
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