A man who identifies as a woman is on trial for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl in a Wyoming bathroom.
Prosecutors charged Miguel Martinez with one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor in March. Martinez’s defense attorney, Tracy Hucke, said in court that Martinez identifies as a woman and uses the name Michelle. Martinez pleaded not guilty at her arraignment to both counts Wednesday afternoon in Natrona County District Court.
The girl told police that Martinez asked her to come into the bathroom with her and then touched her breasts and her genitalia before penetrating her. She started to cry as she told the officer that “it hurt inside.”The girl underwent a sexual assault exam at the Wyoming Medical Center, in which nurses found redness and abrasions, the documents state.
Police officers found Martinez passed out on a couch in a home in Evansville. Martinez was extremely intoxicated and hard to wake up, according to the documents. Officers drove Martinez to the Casper Police Department for an interview.
Martinez could spend 70 years behind bars if convicted.
This is not the first time Martinez has had run-ins with the law. Back in 2014 she was accused of beating her boyfriend with a metal broomstick.
Her latest arrest comes amid a national debate about access rules for public bathrooms. Advocates of "bathroom bills" aim to require transgender individuals to use the restrooms of the sex assigned to them at birth. Proponents of such legislation argue that transgender women, who are biologically male, could endanger women and children in public restrooms.
It is important to note that the incident involving Martinez was not a result of allowing transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity. However, the incident is likely to add fuel to the bathroom bill debate. Bills banning transgender people from using restrooms that correspond with their preferred gender have been considered in 14 states including Wyoming.
Over the last several years the bathroom controversy has taken up lots of airtime on the mainstream media and has fueled passion from both sides of the political aisle. But ultimately, it seems that the nation has much bigger problems to worry about: the $20 trillion national debt, porous borders, and an ever-exploding welfare state.
Is it possible that this bathroom debate is merely a distraction from issues that actually matter in this nation?
Let us know what you think in the comments section below.