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Michelle Martinez, a transgender woman from Casper, Wyoming, was convicted on October 18 of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in March of this year.
Martinez, who previously went by the name of Miguel before identifying herself as a female, denies the charges and blames the accusations as being a “publicity stunt.”
While the incident occurred in the bathroom of a home, some are using the story as an opportunity to speak out against gender-neutral public bathrooms.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Was Found Guilty of First-Degree & Second-Degree Sexual Abuse of a Minor & Accused the Young Girl of ‘Talking Crap’
On October 18, a jury found Martinez Guilty of first-degree and second-degree sexual abuse of a child and the woman could face up to 70 years in prison, as reported by Fox News.
The Billings Gazette reported that Martinez was a family friend of the girl and invited her into a bathroom of a home on March 23. She proceeded to grope the 10-year-old’s breasts and touched her genitalia before penetrating her. The girl’s mother reported the assault after the girl confided in her immediately following the incident.
According to the Casper Tribune, authorities questioned Martinez about the assault and noted that she became “noticeably hostile and defensive” while accusing the minor of “talking crap.” She then denied being a child molester and called the accusations a “publicity stunt,” the newspaper reported.
2. The Victim Told an Officer it ‘Hurt Inside’ & a Medical Exam Found Evidence of the Assault
The Tribune reported that after the attack the girl told police that “it hurt inside.”
Medical staff at the Wyoming Medical Center performed a sexual assault exam on the child and found redness as well as abrasions around the girl’s genitalia.
According to the Tribune, “prosecutors played video of the girl describing the assault to a forensic interviewer for the Children’s Advocacy Project. The girl told the interviewer that Martinez should go to jail.”
The news paper also cited court documents which stated that “Martinez was drunk on the night of the assault and a breath test showed she had a blood alcohol concentration of .218,” which is almost three times the legal limit to operate a vehicle in the state of Wyoming.
3. Some Media Outlets Are Being Accused of Using the Case as an Argument Against Gender-Neutral Bathrooms
Several news outlets including the Daily Caller, Daily Wire, Red Flag News, Silence is Consent, Fox News, and Louder With Crowder headlined their articles to say that the girl was sexually assaulted in a bathroom, which sparked controversy since it was not specified in the headlines that it wasn’t a public facility, but rather a home.
The Crowder went so far as to using the story as an opportunity to argue against gender-neutral bathrooms. The website stated:
There’s a special place in fiery pits of hell for people who molest children. There’s also a special place for those who make provisions for such molesting (see Minnesota Schools to ‘Segregate’ Students Uncomfortable with Trans Bathrooms. and PRIORITIES: Berkeley to Charge Millions in Student Fees for… Transgender Bathrooms). Remember when we told you passing bathroom bills to allow trannies in the stalls next to your daughters, nieces, and grandchildren would lead to terrible things? Uh huh. Well, this tranny raped a 10-year-old girl in a bathroom…He’s a man who dresses like a woman. Which, right now, means he’s in a protected class of people. He’s also a predator who uses his protected class to get close to children. And he’s using his ability, as a member of a protected class, to enter a place the left says he should have every right to enter. In this case, a bathroom. The absence of laws here isn’t comforting.
It should also be noted that local media sources such as the Casper Tribune referred to the woman as “Miguel” rather than Michelle, and used male terms such as “him” to describe her. It is not known if the woman’s name was legally changed to Michelle.
The case has caused such a controversy that Snopes.com has already gotten over 5,000 shares on a post describing the facts of the incident.
4. Many Are Taking to Social Media & Martinez’s Facebook Account to Express Their Outrage at the Incident
Many social media users are expressing their outrage on the matter including Twitter user @crcoffin88redo, who stated “I hope Miguel Martinez gets a death sentence, though I doubt it. Hell can’t wait to devour that subhuman devil.”
Others took to the woman’s Facebook page to call her out on the crime.
“Sick pedophile!,” Shannon Parker wrote.
“Well, looks like you can play the receiving end for the ‘switch hitting” team now!,” Terresa Simonson exclaimed.
“You’re a sick nasty bit**,” Xina Lin stated.
5. One in Two Transgender People Are Sexually Assaulted or Abused in Their Lifetime
According to The Office For Victims of Crime, one in two transgender people are either sexually assaulted or abused during their lifetime.
The website states:
Statistics documenting transgender people’s experience of sexual violence indicate shockingly high levels of sexual abuse and assault. One in two transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives.1 Some reports estimate that transgender survivors may experience rates of sexual assault up to 66 percent, often coupled with physical assaults or abuse.2 This indicates that the majority of transgender individuals are living with the aftermath of trauma and the fear of possible repeat victimization.