Mondell V. Olson, 65 of Ames Iowa was arrested Wednesday, Feb 15 and charged with threatening to kill, brand, and cause bodily harm” to Nevada transgender high school freshman Arthur Hanson. Police also charged Olson with sending sexually explicit text messages to a teacher.
“This is clearly a hate crime,” Nevada police Chief Ricardo Martinez II said. “I don’t think anybody is going to argue with that. Our suspect specifically pointed out transgender.”
“Our suspect, Mondell Olson, read the article (and) was offended by the article,” Martinez said.
Authorities said that Nevada police conducted an investigation, and that police recovered a cellphone involved in the threatening messages while executing a search warrant at Olson’s apartment.
You may remember reading the wonderful article by Hanson in which he talked about his transition and the unique challenges and rewards of being transgender in the rural midwest.
Transgender in small-town Iowa https://t.co/bI8DIjPsBJ
— planetransgender (@planetrans) February 12, 2017
Arthur said it was not hard for him to transition, because he has a family who has helped him get binders, testosterone shots and whatever else is needed to transition to being a male.
“I wish other people would understand that I was never a girl to begin with,” he said. “From the moment I was conceived, I was a boy — no matter what anybody says.”
He’s thankful for the emotional support he receives at home. “While everybody, even my mom, still messes up my pronouns every once in awhile, they’re trying their best and I love and appreciate them all for it.”
Mondell B. Olson, 65, was charged with two counts of first-degree harassment but police say other charges may follow.