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Two charged in bleach attack

Defense lawyer says it could be case of mistaken identity

A 22-year-old Dorchester woman and a 15-year-old Roxbury girl were arraigned Monday on charges stemming from a shocking episode on an MBTA bus in which the youth allegedly threw bleach in a man’s face and the woman allegedly robbed and indecently assaulted him.

Lai Lawnnie Douglas and the teenager were ordered held on $20,000 and $100,000 bail, respectively, at their arraignments in Roxbury District Court and Boston Juvenile Court, said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office. Pleas of not guilty and not delinquent, the term in juvenile court, were entered for them.

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Douglas stood behind a door during her arraignment, and a scream rang out from that area when bail was imposed.

Her lawyer, Richard Doyle, said there was “a massive potential for misidentification” of his client, who he said has a 1-year-old son and counsels high school students. He said the alleged victim reported drinking a couple of martinis before the incident and could not remember it, an account confirmed by a police report.

The juvenile’s lawyer declined to comment.

According to an MBTA Transit Police affidavit, Douglas, the girl, and two unnamed companions boarded the bus shortly before 2 a.m. June 9 at the Dudley T station in Roxbury.

The youth spat in the 53-year-old man’s face, while Douglas pulled his hair, nose, and ear and took cash, papers, and a credit card from his pockets, according to court records. Douglas also allegedly committed a lewd act against the man.

Douglas and the teenager are both charged with unarmed robbery, mayhem, and willful and malicious destruction of property under $250, Conley’s office said. Douglas also faces a charge of indecent assault and battery.

The juvenile allegedly threw bleach in the man’s face and chest, and he told investigators the following day he could not open his right eye, according to the filing. Conley’s office said Monday that the man is being treated for impaired vision.

Douglas later reportedly posted on Facebook that she was “going on the run,” prosecutors said. In addition to bail, she was held on a detainer for violating probation in a prior case charging her with assault, weapons, and larceny counts, as well as witness intimidation, authorities said.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Brian R. Ballou can be reached at bballou@globe.com.
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