An individual named Kendall Stephens, who identifies as transgender and is an active LGBT activist, has been charged by law enforcement with the rape of two minors. The charges against Stephens include rape, unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, obscenity to minors, indecent assault against individuals under the age of 13, and endangering the welfare of children.
According to court documents, the victims are a 9-year-old and a 14-year-old boy, and there is no apparent familial relationship between them. The gravity of the charges is deeply disturbing and highlights the importance of protecting vulnerable members of society.
Stephens served on an LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee for Philadelphia’s District Attorney Larry Krasner. The initial announcement of Stephens’ involvement in this committee highlighted his role as a full-time student at Temple University, studying Public Health and Social Work with a minor in Communication and Activism. Additionally, Stephens was an active board member of the William Way LGBT Community Center and Bethany Children’s Home, which provides support to juvenile delinquents and other teens in need.
The original announcement was removed and did not mention Stephens’ name. It described his advocacy work as a vocal LGBTQ+ advocate and public speaker on issues of discrimination and hate crimes, particularly within the state of Pennsylvania. The announcement also mentioned that Stephens resided in Northeast Philly.
In a profile featured in the spring 2023 newsletter of Bethany Children’s Home, Stephens identified as a Black woman of trans experience born and raised in Philadelphia’s Northern urban enclaves. In his own words, Stephens described himself as a human and civil rights activist, advocate, educator, and survivor of a hate crime. He emphasized his commitment to promoting, protecting, and championing the interests of underrepresented and marginalized communities, particularly BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and LGBTQIA+ individuals.
This distressing case raises important questions about the responsibility of institutions and organizations to thoroughly vet individuals who hold positions of influence, especially when they are involved in working with vulnerable populations.