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Gay Community Seeking Justice in Murder Trial

El Diario/La Prensa, Posted: Feb 25, 2010

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Some members of the gay community in Puerto Rico have expressed satisfaction that their legal system moved quickly to set a trial date in the killing of gay youth Jorge Steven Lopez, according to a report by EFE published in Spanish daily newspaper El Diario/La Prensa. Juan Martinez Matos, who has confessed to the killing, said he acted in self-defense after paying Lopez for sexual services. Matos says an argument ensued, and that Lopez then threatened him with a knife. Gay members of the American Civil Liberties Union in Puerto Rico, however, had demanded that the murder charge be tried as a hate crime. They say Matos intended to justify his actions based on feelings of resentment toward homosexuals which he claims he has harbored since being sexually violated during a stay in prison several years ago.

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