Transgender woman given compromise after pleading guilty to sexual assault

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ralayzia Taylor teared up as she left the courtroom Monday knowing she would not go to jail.

She pleaded guilty to one count of crime against nature and was given a suspended sentence.

Taylor first spoke to Channel 9 in November after she told police she had been attacked with a hatchet and beaten in Charlotte's Clanton Park because she is transgender.

Police arrested three suspects.

“I knew this was a hate crime because they were calling me gay and stuff,” Taylor said.

It all changed several days later when police arrested Taylor, under her previous name Derrick Horton, on accusations that she had sexually assaulted the same 15-year-old boy who allegedly attacked her.

Concern grew within the LGBT community that Taylor could be facing more time than any of her attackers.

Two dozen supporters filed into the courtroom to show support for Taylor who pleaded guilty to a lower level felony in what prosecutor Samantha Pendergrass called a compromise.

“The state, in the interest of justice, thought this was the best resolution to the case,” Pendergrass said.

Taylor and her supporters did not comment after the hearing, but her attorney said it was the right decision.

“She is not somebody who should be deemed a registerable sex offender,” defense attorney Missy Owens said. “That this is not a case that requires any jail time or should require any jail time.”

One of the three people charged with attacking Taylor is set to appear in court later this week.

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