Sexual assault charge dropped against UM student who hit transgender woman

2012-12-06T23:45:00Z 2012-12-07T08:25:45Z Sexual assault charge dropped against UM student who hit transgender womanBy GWEN FLORIO of the Missoulian
December 06, 2012 11:45 pm  • 

A sexual assault charge has been dropped against a University of Montana exchange student who struck another student after learning she was transgender.

Obioha Onwubiko pleaded guilty last week in Missoula Municipal Court to a misdemeanor assault charge in connection with the April 28 incident outside a dance at the Elks Club.

“Obi never denied striking her and had, from the beginning, accepted that responsibility and never attempted to justify his actions under the law,” Onwubiko’s attorney, Craig Shannon, said Thursday. “But as long as the sexual assault charge was hanging out there, he was prepared to fight the entire case.”

The sexual assault charge stemmed from Anita Green’s accusation that Onwubiko grabbed her crotch just before he hit her.

Onwubiko received a six-month deferred sentence on the assault charge, and must pay $203 in fines and court costs. The deferred sentence means the charge will be erased from his record if he stays out of trouble.

Onwubiko and Green agreed that they danced together at the Elks Club and also kissed, though each termed the other the aggressor.

Green, who gave the Missoulian permission to use her name, testified in September at a Missoula Municipal Court hearing on a restraining order that Onwubiko grabbed her crotch, and then punched her, after she resisted his advances. Onwubiko said at that hearing that he merely touched her crotch to confirm his suspicions that she was a man.

Municipal Court granted the one-year restraining order that bans Onwubiko from coming within 1,500 feet of Green, who is also a University of Montana student. Shannon appealed the order, but on Thursday Missoula County District Court Judge Dusty Deschamps rejected the appeal.

Green said Thursday she feels as though the restraining order provides “a safety net.”

As to the resolution of the assault case, she said, “I feel that Obi was given a slap on the wrist and I feel like he got off so easy on this. ... This isn’t justice.”

Reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268,, or @CopsAndCourts.

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(14) Comments

  1. Barkinlounger
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    Barkinlounger - December 08, 2012 1:22 am
    eewwww !
  2. onetwopunch
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    onetwopunch - December 07, 2012 5:53 pm
    come on, all you old trolls would love to meet her and you know
  3. Roger
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    Roger - December 07, 2012 1:03 pm
    You're wrong too - gender fraud should not be tolerated, and the "transgender" being got what was coming to him.
  4. Roger
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    Roger - December 07, 2012 1:01 pm
    Your ignorant comment adds nothing to the discussion. This transgender being committed fraud by passing himself off as a physical woman.
  5. madtaxpayer
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    madtaxpayer - December 07, 2012 12:51 pm
    status should be revealed when there is a hand shake and introduction. if not, then the transgender should be charged with fraud.
  6. madtaxpayer
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    madtaxpayer - December 07, 2012 12:45 pm
    transgenders are deceiving. I think it is wrong to pretend you are of the opposite sex. It is deceiving to the man who thinks you are a woman. he/she should be charged with impersonating the opposite sex without warning an obviously heterosexual man!

    Men, be careful when out on the town, you never know what you'll find, it's best to just stay away from the women, unless you know them. I also feel sorry for the heterosexual women who may have to be asked if they are women or men dressed as women. what a sad society we live in. what ever happened to the days when men were men and women were women. just sad.

  7. MissoulaMom
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    MissoulaMom - December 07, 2012 9:53 am
    No, this is not a story about a transgender person. This is a story about a person who committed assault. The victim happened to be transgender, but that is not the point. The point is that is is always wrong to hit another person. It does not matter what the person's gender is; violence is wrong, it is illegal, and it should not be tolerated.
  8. Turtlegirl
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    Turtlegirl - December 07, 2012 8:56 am
    the questions most of you are asking, and the statements most of you are making have nothing to do with this story. Get your own life people. Its a story about a transgender PERSON, period.
  9. MTanonymous
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    MTanonymous - December 07, 2012 8:50 am
  10. Roger
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    Roger - December 07, 2012 8:12 am
    How about being honest about who you are, instead of trying to pass yourself off as a woman when you're a physical male - which would seem to be fraud?
  11. walter12
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    walter12 - December 07, 2012 7:11 am
    It it time that the Missoulian spell out what a so-called (transgender person) actually is. Is it this, or is it that. And can it be both at the same time? Is it the soul of a man in a woman's body or is the soul of woman in a man's body, is it both? These are the questions to ponder on a winter night.
  12. ReturnoftheNative
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    ReturnoftheNative - December 06, 2012 8:26 pm
    This case raises interesting questions. Should a transgendered person reveal his/her status to someone with whom he/she is thinking about becoming physically intimate? When should that rule come into play? Handholding? Kissing?

    The fact that many men would be shocked and angry if they found out they had gotten personal with a (transgendered) physical man isn't indicative of homophobia. While I'm not justifying assault, it stands to reason that transgendered women should learn to protect themselves just as all we genetic females have done.
  13. Stillmike Miller
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    Stillmike Miller - December 06, 2012 7:36 pm
    News flash, folks: if a person has "frank and beans" between the legs, IT'S A MAN. PERIOD.
  14. Rob Tabish
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    Rob Tabish - December 06, 2012 5:11 pm
    this case just keeps getting more and more asinine. i am glad it is done with

    so, if she ended up actually being a girl, it was still OK for this "so called" devout man to grab her crotch, openly kiss her,and what ever else they did that was suggestive? i really don't care either way about the outcome, but these people are grown-ups and should be expected to behave as such. both parties were right on the edge of responsibility in this matter...and it doesn't sound like either should have been where they were. JMHO.
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