A man pleaded not guilty today to assault and hate crime charges in connection with an attack on a transgender woman in San Francisco’s Mission District early Monday morning.

Eric Olarte, 32, is accused of an attack that occurred around 2:35 a.m. Monday near Mission and 18th streets. He is charged with assault and battery with hate crime allegations attached.

The victim was walking home when Olarte came out of a nearby bar, said homophobic epithets and then assaulted her, Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang said in San Francisco Superior Court today.

Deputy Public Defender Christopher Hite argued that an alleged confession to the crime made by Olarte should be discounted because of his limited English proficiency.

Hite argued for Olarte to be released on his own recognizance, saying he is self-employed as a house painter.

However, Hwang said the attack was partially captured on surveillance video and argued for bail to be set at $100,000.

Judge Monica Wiley split the difference, ordering Olarte held on $50,000. He will return to court on June 18 for a pre-hearing conference.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!