Gay Teenager Murdered in Puerto Rico

The body of Jorge Steven Lopez was found in a wooded area.

BY Julie Bolcer

November 17 2009 8:50 AM ET

Police in Puerto Rico this week continued to investigate whether a teenager's brutal murder was an act of antigay violence. A 28-year-old man was taken into custody in connection with the crime early Tuesday.

The body of Jorge Steven Lopez (pictured), who was 19, was found in a wooded area of the southern town of Cayey on Friday, according to the Associated Press. His remains were dismembered and partially burned. Friends had grown concerned when he failed to meet them at a club in San Juan as planned.

According to the AP, authorities were investigating whether antigay hate motivated the heinous crime. Advocacy groups urged officials to investigate under the U.S. federal statues covering hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation. Puerto Rico is a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States.

One investigator, Angel Rodriguez, sparked an outcry with his suggestion that Lopez was to blame for his own death because he was gay.

"When these type of people get into this and go out into the streets like this, they know this can happen to them," said Rodriguez in a statement to local media that was reported by Edge.
 

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