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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 11, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 06
Puerto Rican judge throws the book at Trans woman's killer
Section One
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Puerto Rican judge throws the book at Trans woman's killer

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

On February 7, Puerto Rican Judge Jesus Peluyera sentenced Emanuel Adorno Ayala to 111 years in prison.

Adorno had previously confessed to stabbing Ashley Santiago, a Trans woman, more than a dozen times in April 2010.

After the sentencing, Santiago's mother, Carmen Ocasio, told Primera Hora reporters that 'this pain will last for the rest of my life.'

According to El Nuevo Dia, Ocasio went to police on April 20, 2010, after not hearing from her daughter for two days.

Police then went to Santiago's house some 25 miles away from San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital. There they found Santiago's naked and bloody body.

According to police reports, she had been stabbed up to 14 times.

She had worked in Corozel as a hair stylist.

Santiago was murdered only five months after the killing of Gay teen Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado.

Lopez's murderer, Juan Martinez Matos, is serving a 99-year sentence for his crime.

The FBI monitored the Lopez case because Puerto Rican activists feared it would not be prosecuted as a hate crime.

Puerto Rico has had a hate crimes law on the books since 2002 including both sexual orientation and gender identity, but Puerto Rican activists say the statute has never been used.

In fact, police were initially reluctant to characterize either murder as a hate crime.

After agitation by LGBT rights activists in both Puerto Rico and the U.S., however, both Adorno and Martinez received very severe sentences.

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