Latino Men Get Almost 3 Years In Prison For Using Paintball Gun On Trans Person Who Used Women’s Restroom

(Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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Two Puerto Rican men have been sentenced to 33 months in prison for using a paintball gun against a transgender biological male who used the women’s restroom, according to a Department of Justice press release.

The men, Jordany Rafael Laboy-Garcia and Christian Yamaurie Rivera-Otero, will also have to undergo three years of supervised release for charges of a hate crime, obstruction of justice and assault with a dangerous weapon.

The men saw the transgender person standing on the side of the road, recognized him from a social media post he’d made about using a McDonald’s women’s restroom, and promptly purchased a paintball gun to shoot him. Laboy-Garcia shot the transgender individual with the paintball gun while Lobos-Ruiz filmed it. (RELATED: County Supervisor Defends Cushy Taxpayer-Funded Vacation As School District Fights Over Trans Locker Room Policy)

“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,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said. “No one should live in fear of hate-fueled violence because of who they are. The Justice Department is committed to investigating and prosecuting people who target LGBTQI+ people with acts of violence or who try to obstruct investigations into these heinous crimes.”

“We hope that this prosecution makes clear to LGBTQI+ victims and survivors that we see them, and we hear them, and we will stand up for them when they are targeted by hate-fueled violence,” Clarke added.

“The defendants’ attack endangered and terrified their victim, and such actions have no place in our community,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico W. Stephen Muldrow. “Bias-motivated violence not only runs contrary to our values but violates federal civil rights laws. We recognize the very real threats and acts of violence faced by the LGBTQI+ community and are determined to use every tool available to preserve the life, safety, and dignity of this community.”