Crime

Transgender woman sentenced to 'time served' on illegal re-entry charge

Irving Gonzalez wants to "start over" in Mexico

Irvin Gonzalez sentenced to 'time...

EL PASO, Texas - Irvin Gonzalez, the transgender woman arrested at the El Paso County Courthouse while filing a protective order, has been sentenced to "time served" on a charge of illegal re-entry.

Gonzalez was facing 37 months in prison, a $100,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.

The judge and prosecutor called this a "special case" and said Gonzalez will not have to pay a fine and will not be supervised release.

ABC-7's Darren Hunt spoke with Gonzalez's defense attorney, who told ABC-7 she is not sure whether client will be deported.

Gonzalez, receiving hormone therapy while in custody, appeared in court in a blue prison jumpsuit, shackled and with her hair in a ponytail.

ABC-7's Darren Hunt reports the judge originally referred to Gonzalez as "Mr. Gonzalez," but later apologized and referred to the prisoner as "Ms. Gonzalez."

When asked in court if she had anything to say before sentencing, Gonzalez said, "I would like to apologize for breaking the law of the United States and I would like to ask you for an opportunity to start my life over in my own country."

"I think that was an extremely fair sentence in light of these special circumstances in this case," said Gonzalez's immigration attorney Melissa Untereker.

"Clearly, there are national policy implications around how and where immigration can conduct enforcement actions," Untereker added, "In this case, I think the egregious nature of her arrest at a protective order hearing and the false statements made by an arresting CBP agent in the affidavit submitted to the federal court - I think  to see her have a fair and just outcome in the criminal proceeding is a relief."

If Gonzalez is deported, she may not face state charges in connection with a mail theft scheme. Police charged both Gonzalez and her boyfriend, Mario De Avila, because they allegedly stole mail containing money orders.

Police say Gonzalez and De Avila altered the money orders, cashed them, and deposited the money in De Avila's bank account.

De Avila is the man Gonzalez was filing a protective order against the day she was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents at the courthouse.


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