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Iowa man allegedly threatens to “kill, brand, and cause bodily harm” to transgender student

DES MOINES — An Iowa man made some nasty phone calls, allegedly threatening to “kill, brand, and cause bodily harm” to a transgender student, leading to his arrest.

On Wednesday, February 15, 65-year-old Mondell V. Olson of Ames was arrested and charged with two counts of harassment in the first degree for allegedly leaving voicemail messages threatening to “kill, brand, and cause bodily harm” to a transgender Nevada student, according to police. The threatening messages were left on the Nevada Community School District voicemail according to a Nevada police news release.

One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel issued a statement regarding the threatening voicemails.

“The harassment this transgender student has faced is horrific and cannot be tolerated,” Hoffman-Zinnel said. “Iowa needs to make it clear that committing crimes against people because they are transgender is unacceptable. Our legislators have an opportunity to add gender identity and gender expression to our state’s hate crimes law to ensure hateful acts like the ones this student was subjected to are correctly addressed. This horrific event underscores the need for legislators to act swiftly in this matter and deter future attacks against transgender Iowans.”

One Iowa is the state’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) organization working toward equality for LGBTQ individuals through grassroots efforts and education.

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