Student Admits To Killing Sydney Trans Author And Sex Worker Kimberley McRae

Student Admits To Killing Sydney Trans Author And Sex Worker Kimberley McRae
Image: Hector Enrique Valencia Valencia (left) is accused of murdering Sydney-based author and sex worker Kimberley McRae in January 2020.

A 23-year-old student has admitted to killing a Sydney-based author and trans sex worker but has pleaded not guilty to her murder. 

Kimberley McRae, lived in the seaside Sydney suburb of Coogee and in 2019 published a memoir ‘Hey Boys, She’s Got a Gash and Other Tales of Gods‘, under the name Isabelle Lawson.

Trigger Warning: This story discusses the murder of a trans person, 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.

McRae’s body was found in her Mount St apartment in Coogee on January 14, 2020, by her real estate agent. McRae’s twin sister had contacted the agent after failing to get in touch with her. 

The body was covered with a blanket and a pillow and the police found a broken lamp with a broken power cord near the body. A used condom wrapped in tissue paper was also found in the apartment. The prosecution’s case is that McRae’s death was caused by compression applied to the neck. 

Student Flees Australia After Killing

Kimberley McRae.

Hector Enrique Valencia Valencia, a Colombian national, fled to Colombia three days after the killing. He arrived in Australia in 2019 on a student visa and was studying at a business school in Surry Hills. 

Valencia was arrested in Aruba in March 2020 and extradited to Australia in November 2020 to stand trial. 

The prosecution said Valencia had contacted McRae for sexual services after responding to an online ad. He visited her apartment on January 8, 2020. After having sex with her, he punched her and wrestled her to the ground. He then allegedly choked her to death and fled.

Valencia pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and claimed he had no intention of killing McRae.

His lawyers said that Valencia did not know that McRae was 69 years old (the online ad had mentioned her age as 38) or that she was transgender. The lawyers claimed Valencia “lost self-control”, reported News Corp

I Killed A W***e

Hector Enrique Valencia Valencia was extradited to Australia from Aruba in November 2020. Image: NSW Police

The court was shown text messages that Valencia had exchanged with a friend before fleeing the country. 

“The truth is tomorrow I am travelling to Colombia. I threw my life away, dude. I am escaping because I don’t want to finish in jail in Australia,” the message read. 

“I die of shame to tell this to anybody. I believe I killed a w***e … I better go Colombia before they catch me, I cannot see her in the news. I don’t know if she is dead, but she must be after what happened,”  the message added. The court heard that Valencia had tried to flush MaRae’s mobile phone in her toilet to destroy the message he had exchanged with her.

The trial in the case will continue before Justice Dina Yehia of the NSW Supreme Court.

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