Transgender woman says attack is adding fuel to her message

Stephanie Martinez talking to staffers at the capitol. (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)
Stephanie Martinez talking to staffers at the capitol. (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two brothers have been arrested and charged with attacking and robbing a transgender woman in Austin.

Mugshots have not been released for 26-year-old Raymond and 17-year-old Rayshad Deloach, pending a photo lineup. According to his arrest warrant, Rayshad admitted to police Stephanie Martinez was a target because she’s transgender.

Martinez said she first connected with one of the brother’s on the social media networking site MocoSpace, and then they exchanged phone numbers and started talking and flirting over text messages.

She told police she communicated multiple times about being transgender, and agreed to meet up. According to Martinez, when she went to an apartment complex both brothers got in her car, told her they had a gun and instructed her to drive.

Martinez said she eventually stopped where they told her to, got out and was punched in the face multiple times and had her purse stolen.

Raymond Deloach, left, and Rayshad Deloach (Austin Police Department Photo)
Raymond Deloach, left, and Rayshad Deloach (Austin Police Department Photos)

“Emotionally I’ve been all over the place,” said Martinez. “The memory that comes back the most is when I close my eyes and I picture him over my head with a log.”

She kept her commitment to testify at a hearing on the bathroom bill less than 24-hours after the attack. Martinez said she showed up to the State Capitol at 7 a.m. Friday, and returned Monday to step foot in every lawmaker’s office to share her story.

“This is kind of a hard thing to talk about,” she told staffers in Rep. Garnet Coleman’s office, D-Houston. “But as you see I have some nice bruising around my mouth and I have no denture in today, and that is because I was attacked on Thursday.”

Martinez calls herself an activist and has been on a mission to educate people about transgender rights for years. She said it is not unusual for people to reach out to meet up.

“I have changed how I will do it,” said Martinez. “I realize that it’s not always safe to just go meet somebody somewhere.”

Right now, she believes the Capitol is the best place to be advocating for transgender rights. Martinez will be heading back to the Austin Police Department Tuesday to meet with detectives again.

She considers this a hate crime, but does not know if police or prosecutors have made that distinction.

Austin police tell KXAN they should be able to provide more information on the case Tuesday.

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