A prominent transgender LGBT activist in Philadelphia who campaigned for and endorsed several top Democrats in the commonwealth was arrested this week on several charges, including rape and assault of two young boys.
Kendall Stephens, 37, was arrested Monday and charged with rape, involuntary assault, unlawful contact with minors and indecent assault against two victims less than 13 years old, along with charges including corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children.
Stephens, a transgender woman who is biologically male, rose to prominence in 2020 after being the victim of a brutal crime believed by many to be a hate crime in which the attacker, Tymesha Wearing, ended up pleading guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy, Fox 29 Philadelphia reported.
“Nearly three years ago, Kendall Stephens endured a frightening crime that was intended to demean and silence her,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said.
“Instead, Ms. Stephens continues to speak out loudly on behalf of other queer victims of violent crime — all while pursuing graduate studies. This criminal case is now closed, but Ms. Stephens will never stop fighting for the respect, support and protections that queer people deserve in order to live safely, freely and joyfully.”
The arrest of Stephens sparked a firestorm on social media from those pointing out Stephens’ ties to various political campaigns and some saying the penalty for the alleged crimes should be significant.
In an Instagram post last year, Stephens posted a photo with Sen. Bob Casey thanking him for “giving me a platform to speak,” adding Casey was a “true ally to the community.”
“Kendall campaigned for the Governor of PA (D),” LibsofTikTok posted on X, along with photos of Kendall standing alongside prominent Democrats in the commonwealth. “Kendall also supported the Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner (D). He’s also friendly with Sen. Bob Casey (D) and calls him an ‘ally.’”
“37 year old transgender Kendall Stephens has been arrested for allegedly r*ping two minors under the age of 13,” Colin Rugg, co-owner of Trending Politics, posted on X.” “This is why the death penalty exists.”
Fox News Digital reached out to the offices of Casey and Krasner but did not immediately receive a response.
“These allegations are abhorrent,” Manuel Bonder, spokesperson for Gov. Josh Shapiro, told Fox News Digital. “This individual should be prosecuted to the fullest extent and process of the law.”
The investigation into Stephens began in September when a grandmother of one of the alleged young victims told police her grandchild was sexually assaulted by Stephens on more than one occasion, starting when he was 8 years old, NBC Philadelphia reported.
The second victim was reportedly given “gifts out of nowhere,” and the parents believed it was to “keep him quiet.” Stephens is also said to have warned one of the victims that he would be put in jail if he told anyone about the encounter.
Stephens’ bail was set at $500,000.