Rafu Staff Report
TORRANCE — Lena Hernandez, who pleaded no contest last year to a misdemeanor battery charge stemming from an attack on an Asian American woman at the Del Amo Mall in Torrance in 2019, was back in court on May 10 to say that she could not comply with the sentence imposed on her.
Hernandez had been sentenced in a Torrance courtroom to serve 47 days in jail, to take 52 anger management sessions, and to be placed on three years of summary probation. On Monday, Hernandez said she was unable to pay for the sessions.
The prosecutor, Deputy City Attorney Brandon Gonzaque, advised Judge David Reinert and the defense attorney, Deputy Public Defender Cory O’Yang, that the victim, Kayceelyn Salminao, and the people were requesting 60 hours of community labor in lieu of the anger management sessions. The judge ordered Hernandez to complete 80 hours of community service, according to Salminao’s attorney, Sandy Roxas.
Under the newly enacted AB 1950, the judge also shortened Hernandez’s probationary period from three years to one year. It will now expire on Oct. 10 this year. The defendant’s proof of completion date is set for Sept. 15 in the clerk’s office. She has no more court appearances.
Hernandez, a retired social worker from Long Beach, is known in the local Asian American community for two profanity-laced anti-Asian tirades, captured on video by the victims, at Wilson Park in June. However, the Torrance City Attorney’s Office said there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges in those cases.
Rallies against anti-Asian hate have been held at Wilson Park, and another is scheduled for Sunday, May 23, at 9 a.m. The theme for the solidarity workout, which is being held as part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, is “Stand Together, Sweat Together.” The program will include speakers and cultural performances. Face masks and social distancing are required. Those planning to work out are asked to bring their own mats.