Student Found Not Guilty Of Murdering Sydney Trans Sex Worker Kimberly McRae

Student Found Not Guilty Of Murdering Sydney Trans Sex Worker Kimberly McRae
Image: The 69-year-old sex worker from Coogee was killed in her apartment in January 2020. Photo: Kimberly McRae/Facebook

The Colombian student who killed a sex worker in Coogee in her apartment in Sydney has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Trigger Warning: This story has details of an attack and murder on a trans woman, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

Hector Enrique Valencia pleaded not guilty to the murder of 69-year-old Kimberly McRae in January 2020.

The 23-year-old claimed he killed McRae in a rage after discovering that she was transgender due to his “religious beliefs”.

Fueled By Anger

Hector Enrique Valencia Valencia (left) is accused of murdering Sydney-based author and sex worker Kimberley McRae in January 2020.

In his judge-alone trial, Valencia informed the court that he had become upset after discovering that McRae was transgender and admitted to hitting her in the face and mouth.

During the cross-examination, he admitted that his assault on McRae was fueled by anger but claimed that the victim grabbed a lamp and tried to choke him with the cord. This made him “scared and panic.”

“It is not surprising that she sought to defend herself by arming herself with whatever was close to hand,” Justice Dina Yehia said as she acknowledged that Valencia attacked first in the altercation between the pair.

Justice Yehia said she was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that though the victim’s cause of death was asphyxiation by Valencia’s hands, the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to kill McRae.

“It should be clearly understood that Kim McCrae was entitled to live her life. That she died is tragic,” the judge said.

“Whilst there is no doubt that the accused became angry when he discovered that Kimberley McRae was transgender, there was an intervening event between the time that anger manifested and the time the accused committed the act that caused death.”

Fled The Country

At the time of the incident, Valencia was a student at the University of NSW. He contacted McRae via a mobile phone on January 8, 2020. He went to her apartment for oral sex after 3:28 pm.

CCTV footage nearby caught him leaving on his scooter at 4:17 pm. It’s been reported that Valencia quickly booked a flight out of Australia on January 10. He messaged a friend in Spanish: “I threw my life away, dude. I’m escaping because I do not want to finish in jail,” the translated texts state as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I die of shame to tell this to anybody. I believe I killed a whore. I better go to Colombia before they catch me [crying emoji] … I cannot see her in the news. I do not know if she is dead, but she must be after what happened.”

The student left Sydney on the January 11, 2020 and landed in Colombia on January 13,  2020. McRae’s body was discovered on January 14, and a warrant was issued for Valencia’s arrest in February.

Valencia was arrested in Aruba and was extradited to Australia in November 2020. He currently remains in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.

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6 responses to “Student Found Not Guilty Of Murdering Sydney Trans Sex Worker Kimberly McRae”

  1. fck transphobes, justice for Kimberly McRae, she didn’t deserve to be treated at the way she was treated!!!!

  2. this is so sad, how dare you to kill someone just because of their way to live, and how dare you to say “this is against my christian values” isn’t murdering a sin? isn’t finding prostitutes is a sin? shut up, your christian values can’t take away a person’s life, justice for this woman, justice for kimberly McRae

  3. So murdering someone isn’t murder anymore? I hope he rots in hell, and that judge needs to get fired.