PORTLAND, Ore. — It’s his first legal job.  “My name is William Smith, I’m a level one Deputy District Attorney.”

He works in Multnomah County.

And he describes trying to get justice for, “The victim in this case, she works with the houseless community.

She was waiting to go into work, when,  “A stranger walked up behind her, grabbed her by the hair, pulled her backwards, and threw her onto the cement.”

Then the attacker jumped on top of her, began striking her face.

Luckily, workers nearby intervened to stop them.

“Police were called. They arrested that person. And for legal reasons, she was charged with assault in the fourth degree, which is a misdemeanor crime.   The defense scheduled it for a change of plea.”

The victim wanted to talk to the court about that.

“She had not yet returned to work. She was still recovering from the assault. When the hearing began, she began to visibly shake. When we played the video of the assault, she began to cry.”

Smith says for this victim and many others, this isn’t just a minor crime. “She talked about the impact this crime had on her. About the way she was recovering from the assault. About the confusion she felt about why somebody would attack her.”

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