Sydney, Australia –
In a tragic incident that shocked the community, a Colombian national, Hector Enrique Valencia Valencia, has been sentenced to a minimum of six years and nine months in jail for the manslaughter of transgender sex worker Kimberley McRae. The incident occurred at McRae’s apartment in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in January 2020. The case shed light on the violence faced by transgender individuals and the importance of promoting tolerance and acceptance.
Tragic Crime in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs
Hector Enrique Valencia Valencia, 23, engaged the services of Kimberley McRae, a self-employed sex worker, before the horrifying turn of events. McRae, also known by her pseudonym Isabella Lawson, was not only involved in the sex work industry but also an accomplished author, with her memoir titled “Hey Boys, She’s Got a Gash and Other Tales of Gods.”
Source: Daily Mail
Victim Remembered as Talented Artist and Author
During the court proceedings, McRae’s sister, Karen McRae, described her as an intelligent and talented artist who was a friend to many. The loss of McRae’s life was deeply felt by her loved ones and the wider community.
Judge Acknowledges Lack of Motivated Hatred, Sentences Defendant
NSW Supreme Court Justice Dina Yehia presided over the case and emphasized that no sentence could measure the true value of McRae’s life. While the judge did not find evidence of the defendant specifically targeting McRae out of hatred or prejudice, she condemned his violent reaction upon learning of her transgender identity.
Valencia flew into a rage upon discovering McRae’s transgender identity and physically assaulted her. The struggle continued on the floor of the darkened apartment, where he ultimately used an electrical cord from a lamp to inflict fatal injuries on McRae. Despite being found not guilty of murder, Valencia was convicted of manslaughter in February following a judge-alone trial.
“Angry or not, the offender who committed the crime should have simply left the deceased persons unit rather than reacting with that of violence,” stated Justice Yehia during the sentencing on Friday. The judge highlighted the callousness and lack of remorse displayed by Valencia in the immediate aftermath of the crime.
Defendant Displays Remorse and Prospects for Rehabilitation
While Valencia did not seek assistance for McRae after rendering her unconscious, the judge clarified that his failure to act did not contribute to her death. However, she acknowledged that it demonstrated the offender’s lack of remorse and compassion.
Justice Yehia also noted that Valencia had shown genuine remorse through his early guilty plea, expert observations, and a letter addressed to the then attorney-general Christian Porter, which was discovered upon his arrest in Aruba. In the letter, Valencia expressed regret, acknowledging his mistake and the irreparable consequences it had brought.
The judge concluded that Valencia displayed insight into his offending and exhibited strong prospects for rehabilitation. Valencia has been in custody since his extradition in February 2020 and will be eligible for parole in November 2026.
This tragic case serves as a reminder of the importance of respecting and embracing diversity, while highlighting the need for further efforts to combat violence against transgender individuals.