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Austin Police: Arrest made in sexual assault of transgender woman

Months after a transgender woman reported a man raped her and hit her in the head with a hammer, Austin Police make an arrest. (Image credit: MGN Online)

Months after a transgender woman reported a man raped her and hit her in the head with a hammer, Austin Police make an arrest.

29-year-old Eric Vinh Nelson was processed into the Travis County Jail on Wednesday, accused in the rape and aggravated assault of a local transgender performer.

He’s accused of raping Christi Long back in May and hitting her with a hammer before fleeing. Long chased him outside and then reported him -- but at the time, she did not know his full name.

Austin Police caught up with him after his DNA was processed and got a hit in a national database.

"I feel happy that he’s not going to be able to hurt me anymore, but at the same time it just … it just brings up a bunch of old feelings," Christi said.

"Hopefully we let the transgender community know we take their sexual assaults just as serious as the rest," Sgt. Sandra Benningfield with the Austin Police Department said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference announcing the arrest.

About 47 percent of transgender people report having been sexually assaulted, but many are unwilling to come forward.

The attack on Long left her with 12 stitches in her head, and emotional scars.

This developing story will be updated.

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