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American News May 12, 2022 3:58 PM EST

Prominent trans activist celebrated by liberal press faces 16 felony charges for sexual abuse of boy

The New York Times described Hernandez as a "transgender human rights activist" who fled El Salvador in June of 2017 for the United States after facing severe police brutality.

Prominent trans activist celebrated by liberal press faces 16 felony charges for sexual abuse of boy
Katie Daviscourt Seattle, WA

A prominent trans activist who was highly praised by liberal media outlets and institutions is now facing 16 felony charges for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor following a sextortion investigation.

Carlos Arturo Aparicio Hernandez, 36, of Taylorsville, Utah, a biological male who identifies as a woman named "Raiza", is accused of the sexual abuse and exploitation of a 15-year-old boy after sending the victim a friend request on Facebook posing as a teenage girl.

According to charging documents, the 15-year-old victim accepted a friend request on Facebook in January of 2021 from someone he was led to believe was a female his own age. After communicating for months, the victim sent nude photos at the request of Hernandez and was later asked to meet in-person, court documents state.

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Carlos "Raiza" Arturo Aparicio Hernandez

The victim invited Hernandez to his home in West Valley City, Utah where he then discovered that the girl he thought he was talking to was a transgender sexual predator.

Upon arrival, Hernandez forced the boy to engage in "sexual acts" by blackmailing him and threatening to release the minor's explicit photos if he didn't comply. Hernandez recorded the assault, charging documents state.

The two met on three separate occasions following repeated threats from Hernandez, according to court documents.

The West Valley Police Department busted Hernandez in a sting operation after the incident was reported to authorities. Officers gained access to the victim's Facebook account through a search warrant and arranged a meeting with Hernandez. Officers arrested Hernandez when he showed up to the meeting location and booked him into Salt Lake County Jail.

Carlos Arturo Aparicio Hernandez was charged last Thursday in the 3rd District Court with 16 felonies. The charges include: one count of aggravated sexual extortion, six counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of forcible sexual abuse, five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, and one count of enticing a minor.

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In 2017, Hernandez fled his home country of El Salvador and was granted asylum in the United States, where he settled in Los Angeles, California, Reduxx reports.

A "champion" for trans rights, Hernandez gained notoriety among trans activists after The New York Times featured Hernandez in an article in 2018 about the obstacles that face LGBTQ migrants.

The New York Times described Hernandez as a "transgender human rights activist" who fled El Salvador in June of 2017 for the United States after facing severe police brutality.

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Following the publication of The New York Times article, Hernandez was invited to the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC to give a speech at an event held by the Council for Global Equality in 2019. Hernandez spoke about the alleged discrimination he experienced from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) staff members because of his gender identity and sexuality.

In March 2020, Hernandez was invited to speak at the University of Southern California (USC) school of law on the topic of "Asylum, Disability and Mental Health," according to Reduxx.

Hernandez was also featured in a 2018 Univision article where he was hailed as a "transgender immigrant activist." Univision teamed up with student journalists at California State University at Fullerton for the piece which discussed Hernandez's experience being beaten by police in his home country.

Despite facing 16 felony charges for the alleged sexual abuse and exploitation of a minor, Hernandez shared a Facebook post in 2017 which advocated against the sexual abuse of children.

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Hernandez is being held at Salt Lake County Jail while awaiting trial at the request of prosecutors who say, "took advantage of the victim and extorted the victim for her (his) own sexual gain," according to KSL.

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