One Iowa Statement on Harassment of Nevada Transgender Student Resulting in Arrest

On Wednesday, February 15, 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.”