Two men plead guilty to assaulting trans woman hours before she was found dead

Author: John Russell

Two Puerto Rican men pled guilty to assaulting Alexa Negrón Luciano, a transgender woman, just hours before she was murdered in 2020.

Luciano’s death made headlines in 2020 after a video of her murder appeared on YouTube. The 27-year-old, who was experiencing homelessness, had been the target of harassment and violent threats following an incident at a McDonald’s in Toa Baja, a city near Puerto Rico’s north-central coast, during which Luciano was accused of using a mirror to spy on other patrons while using the women’s bathroom. Police said there was no evidence that she was doing so.

However, people began posting about the incident on social media, naming Luciano and sharing photos of her along with transphobic rhetoric.

According to a DOJ press release, Laboy-Garcia, Rivera-Otero, and Lobos-Ruiz encountered Luciano while driving in Toa Baja shortly after midnight on February 24, 2020. Recognizing her from social media posts about the McDonald’s incident, Lobos-Ruiz recorded video of himself shouting “la loca, la loca” and other threatening comments at Luciano. The three men then went to get a paintball gun and returned within 30 minutes to where they had previously seen Luciano. Lobos-Ruiz recorded Laboy-Garcia shooting Luciano multiple times with paintballs.

Lobos-Ruiz shared the videos with Laboy-Garcia and Rivera-Otero. “Several hours later, Rivera-Otero and Lobos-Ruiz exchanged text messages, in which they told each other to delete the evidence of their harassment and paintball gun assault of [Luciano], in order to conceal their involvement,” according to the press release.

Within hours of the attack, and less than 12 hours after the McDonald’s incident, Luciano was shot and killed. Video of the murder, which police reportedly believed to be authentic, appeared on social media.

Initial reports describing Luciano as a “man dressed as a woman” sparked outrage. During a February 27, 2020 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Puerto Rican reggaeton star Bad Bunny wore a shirt that read “They killed Alexa…Not a man in a skirt” in Spanish.

According to the DOJ press release, sentencing hearings for Laboy-Garcia and Rivera-Otero have been scheduled for November 10. As People notes, police have still not charged anyone in Luciano’s murder. The FBI is offering up to $50,000 for information leading to the indictment and arrest of anyone involved in Luciano’s murder.

Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: John Russell

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