Trans activist Kendall Stephens charged with raping kids under 13

Kendall Stevens
Kendall Stevens | Screenshot: CBS Philadelphia

Philadelphia police arrested LGBT activist Kendall Stephens, a 37-year-old male who identifies as a woman, for allegedly raping two minors under the age of 13. The victims' aunt told reporters that she believes Kendall was "grooming" her nephews. 

Stephens became an activist after he was attacked at his South Philadelphia home in August 2020, an act that was charged as a hate crime. Since becoming a prominent LGBT activist calling for Pennsylvania's hate crime statute to include trans-identifying individuals, Stephens has worked alongside multiple public officials, including Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. 

Police arrested Stephens on Monday, and he was arraigned in Philadelphia Municipal Court on the same day. Court documents show that Stephens was charged with multiple offenses, including rape, unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors and indecent assault against people less than 13 years of age. 

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Stephens' bail is set for $250,000, and his next court hearing is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 29.

An unnamed aunt of the two victims who spoke to Fox 29  this week but didn't want her name to be published said that the two victims called Stephens "Aunt Kendall," as he was a close family friend who had been around since the boys were born. 

"You had this aunt stature in their life, whereas they're going to look at you and think, 'I don't want to tell an adult because I don't want something bad to happen to Aunt Kendall,'" the victims' aunt said. 

According to the aunt, her 7-year-old nephew told his grandmother about the alleged abuse, prompting the two women to speak to both boys individually to learn what had happened. The boys reportedly cried when they opened up to their aunt and grandmother. 

The two women confronted Stephens with the allegations, with the aunt recalling that the LGBT advocate did not attempt to deny it. Instead, Stephens allegedly blamed the oldest victim, a 9-year-old, claiming that the boy tried to kiss him first. 

Philadelphia police received a report about the alleged abuse in September 2023, according to Fox 29. 

"I feel like she was grooming my nephews. … My nephews have definitely endured a lot," the aunt said. "I don't want her to be able to use this reputation and think that it's going to be able to get her out of this situation because what she did to my nephews is unbelievable."

An affidavit obtained by Fox 29 details allegations of multiple sexual encounters with the young boys. 

CBS News Philadelphia reported in February that Tymesha Wearing was convicted of a hate crime for her involvement in the home invasion and assault of Stephens in August 2022. Wearing was convicted of a minor criminal offense and sentenced to 11.5 to 23 months of house arrest. 

Philadelphia District Attorney Krasner spoke publicly about Stephens' case, calling for hate crime laws in the state to include LGBT-identifying people. Krasner also praised Stephens for continuing to "speak out loudly on behalf of other queer victims of violent crime." 

"Although Philadelphia County recognizes what happened to me as a hate crime, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's hate crime statute doesn't recognize me as a person worthy of protection because I'm transgender, I am an unworthy minority in the eyes of the law, and that needs to change, or the cycle of hate will continue," Stephens said at the time. 

According to a WPVI report, Stephens attended a 2021 press conference alongside several other activists to announce the launch of Krasner's "LGBTQ+ Advisory Board." The board aims to connect victims of crimes with information and resources.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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