Authorities in Philadelphia have brought charges against an LGBTQ+ activist and trans woman accused of raping two minors. Per FOX 29, the rape allegations leveled against 37-year-old Kendall Stephens come after she survived a brutal hate crime-related assault in 2020.
Authorities said they launched an investigation into the rape allegations in September 2023 before ultimately arresting Stephens on Monday. She faces a slew of charges including two counts of Rape, Indecent Assault, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Corruption of Minors, and related charges. Her bail has been set at $500,000.
In August 2020, Stephens was violently assaulted by Tymesha Wearing in what authorities described as a hate crime-related incident. The assault occurred at Stephens’ home. Wearing was ultimately convicted after she pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy.
Wearing was sentenced to 11.5 to 23 months of house arrest with electronic monitoring. She will also only become eligible for parole after serving 18 months of home confinement, FOX 29 reported. Wearing was additionally ordered to perform 120 hours of community service, write an apology letter to Stephens, and complete a court-monitored anger management program.
In the wake of the attack, Stephens gained popularity in her neighborhood and campaigned for local lawmakers to ensure justice is served for LGBTQ+ members who are victims of assault, CBS News reported.
“Ms. Stephens continues to speak out loudly on behalf of other queer victims of violent crime – all while pursuing graduate studies,” DA Krasner said at the time.
“Although Philadelphia County recognizes what happened to me as a hate crime, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s hate crime statute doesn’t recognize me as a person worthy of protection because I’m transgender, I am an unworthy minority in the eyes of the law, and that needs to change, or the cycle of hate will continue,” Stephens also said following Wearing’s conviction.