A transgender person who was accused by police of having undergone a sex change to evade arrest said Wednesday she became a woman by choice, not to avoid capture.Giovanni Rebolledo, who was arrested Monday afternoon in the northern city of Barranquilla, on Wednesday declared that she is innocent of the charges against her and stated that she has been a transgender person since the age of 16 – refuting the version of events widely reported in Colombian media in which she changed sex to evade authorities.
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Rebolledo was reportedly released from a Bogota prison after the statute of limitations on her case expired. Rebolledo had been incarcerated in 2011 for alleged involvement with criminal gang “Los Topos” and consequently was facing a sentence of 60 years for robbery, extortion, kidnapping and torture among other crimes.
Backed by a statement from her mother who vouched for her version of the history of her sexual identity, Rebolledo denied the criminal charges, claiming she had been caught up in the sex trade in Bogota and was wrongly associated with the criminal gang supposedly known for kidnapping and torturing people with electrical charges.
“They are charging me with things that are impossible to believe. They’re crimes that I have never committed,” she said in a jailhouse interview with Caracol radio.