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Student who killed sex worker after finding out she was trans found not guilty of murder

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Kimberley McRae

A Colombian student who killed a sex worker when he discovered she was trans has been found not guilty of murder. 

Hector Enrique Valencia Valencia killed 69-year-old Kimberley McRae by pressing a lamp cord against her neck before leaving her lifeless body inside her apartment in Coogee, New South Wales, in January 2020.

As news.com.au reported, the 23-year-old student went to McRae’s home and paid $100 for oral sex. 

After getting naked and receiving sexual services for about five to 10 minutes, Valencia became “suspicious” about McRae’s gender, he told the court during his trial.

When he realised she was trans, he told the court that, while still naked, he punched her before she grabbed a nearby lamp. She used this to strike him on the shoulder. 

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Valencia said in his testimony that, at the time, he believed she “was a woman” and that it was against his religious beliefs “that I had sexual intimacy with another man”, leading him to feel “upset”.

During the altercation, the pair wrestled over control of the lamp and its cord, which the student subsequently used to strangle her by pressing it onto her neck for “a few seconds”. 

Valencia claimed throughout the trial that he did not intend to kill McRae.

An autopsy concluded that she died of neck compression, leading to asphyxiation, as well as noting she had suffered a fractured thyroid cartilage.

In the case’s judgement on Friday, Justice Dina Yehia found Valencia not guilty of murder.

Justice Yehia stated the Crown prosecution had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Valencia intended to either kill or cause serious harm to McRae, meaning he could not be found guilty on the murder charge. 

The former business student had already pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Hector Enrique Valencia will face sentence proceedings in May.

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