The Crown Prosecution Service has charged a British woman with communication crimes regarding her online encounters with a transgender activist, the Daily Mail reported.
Kate Scottow, 38, of Hertfordshire, England, made headlines back in December when she was first arrested by Hertfordshire Police.
“I was arrested in my home by three officers, with my autistic ten-year-old daughter and breastfed 20-month-old son present,” Scottow recounted at the time.
“I was then detained for seven hours in a cell with no sanitary products (which I said I needed) before being interviewed then later released under investigation … I was arrested for harassment and malicious communications because I called someone out and misgendered them on Twitter.”
The Hertfordshire Police later confirmed the arrest, stating that “we take all reports of malicious communications seriously.”
The arrest stemmed from a Twitter argument between Scottow and activist Stephanie Hayden, a biological man who identifies as a woman.
During the debate, Scottow allegedly “deadnamed” Hayden, a term that refers to using the birth name of someone who has changed their name.
Scottow is also accused of referring to Hayden as male and calling him a “fake lawyer.”
Hayden is a relatively obscure activist but is quite familiar with lodging complaints about language he finds offensive on Twitter.
In October 2018, the activist was able to get West Yorkshire police to issue a verbal warning against popular sitcom writer Graham Linehan for similar actions.
It was Hayden’s complaints that led to Scottow’s arrest as well.
After Scottow’s release, a judge issued an interim injunction against her, banning any reference to Hayden as a man.
On Aug. 31, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that Scottow will be charged with making “malicious communications,” saying her “persistent” messages were intended to cause “annoyance, inconvenience, or needless anxiety” to another person.
Scottow is also accused of using a fake account to “harass, defame, and publish derogatory and defamatory tweets” about Hayden.
She denies this and intends to defend herself accordingly, affirming her “genuine and reasonable belief” that a human “cannot practically speaking change sex.”
While he was still a backbench Tory MP, current Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticized Scottow’s arrest, saying, “Is this really the right way to fight crime? Is this what our brave police officers signed up to do?”
“Are you really telling me that it is a sensible ordering of priorities, when violence on the streets would seem to be getting out of control?”
Scottow is due to appear at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Sept. 18.
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