- Associated Press - Thursday, September 7, 2017

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A transgender woman who was arrested by immigration agents in a Texas courthouse as she obtained a protective order against an abusive boyfriend has been sentenced to nine years in prison in an unrelated fraud case.

Irvin Gonzalez Torres was sentenced Wednesday in El Paso for her role in a scheme to steal money orders and other mail.

Advocacy groups came to Gonzalez’s defense when she was arrested in February as she obtained the protective order. They argued her arrest would dissuade other abuse victims from reporting abusers for fear of deportation.

A federal grand jury indicted her on a count of illegal re-entry into the U.S. and she was sentenced to time served.

But she had remained in custody on the fraud charges.

Federal authorities say Gonzalez has been deported several times.

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