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Two Men Sentenced for Videotaped Hate Crime Attack on Murdered Trans Woman

Two Men Sentenced for Videotaped Hate Crime Attack on Murdered Trans Woman

Alexa Neulisa Luciano
Images: FBI.gov

Alexa Neulisa Luciano was murdered not long after the two men attacked her.

Two men in Puerto Rico were sentenced to 33 months in prison on federal hate crime charges for their 2020 videotaped paintball attack on a transgender woman experiencing homelessness, the Department of Justice announced in a statement yesterday.

Alexa Neulisa Luciano, or A.N.L., had been questioned by police for using the women’s restroom at a fast food restaurant hours earlier and her lifeless body was found riddled with bullets the following morning.

Jordany Rafael Laboy-Garcia and Christian Yamaurie Rivera-Otero in September pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a federal hate crime and obstruction of justice. On Wednesday they were sentenced to 33 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for their attack on A.N.L.

As part of their plea agreements, both men admitted they attacked A.N.L. because of her actual and perceived transgender identity.

“The defendants have been held accountable for assaulting a Latina transgender woman because of her gender identity and then trying to obstruct an investigation into that assault,” Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “No one should live in fear of hate-fueled violence because of who they are.”

In the early morning hours of February 24, 2020, Laboy-Garcia, Rivera-Otero, and former co-defendant Anthony Steven Lobos-Ruiz were driving in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico when they recognized A.N.L. standing under a tent on the roadside. The trio had earlier seen images posted to social media of A.N.L. as she was questioned by police for using the women’s restroom at a local McDonald’s. The group harassed A.N.L. due to her gender identity, then returned with paint guns which they used to assault her repeatedly. The trio videotaped the attacks and distributed them to others, but later attempted to delete the videos to hide their involvement with Luciano.

At some point after the paintball attack, Luciano was shot at least 10 times with a handgun. Video allegedly showing the murder was also posted to social media. Her murder remains unsolved to this day despite a $50,000 reward offered by the FBI.

A.N.L.’s murder shocked Puerto Rico and the broader community.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren posted to X Twitter she was “heartsick” for A.N.L.

Anyone with information about the killing is urged to contact the FBI at tips.fbi.gov.

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