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Man Sentenced To 25 Years For Beating, Robbing Transgender Prostitute

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A man who beat and robbed a transgender prostitute in a Manhattan hotel room was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years behind bars.

Damique Fennell, 23, was convicted last month of the sexually motivated attack of the 27-year-old woman at a Midtown Holiday Inn in February 2013, WCBS 880's Irene Cornell reported.

Man Sentenced To 25 Years For Beating, Robbery Of Transgender Prostitute

The crime was not taken lightly by Judge Gregory Carro, who sentenced Fennell to the kind of time usually reserved for murder.

In Manhattan Supreme Court, the judge said Fennell was motivated not just by taking money but by his own perverse sexual gratification and desire to denigrate and humiliate the victim.

In asking for the harsh sentence, the prosecutor described Fennell as the leader of a pack of vicious predators -- four men who used a gun, abused and taunted the victim and tried to strangle her with her own clothing. They arranged the meeting at the hotel with the woman, who advertised her escort services online.

"All too often, we see defendants preying on individuals they believe to be weak," District Attorney Cy Vance said in a news release. "The survivor in this case showed true strength in the face of a brutal and relentless attack, and I thank her for her courage and willingness to come forward and testify at trial. Several decades ago, a case like this one may not have gone to trial, but today's sentencing and the convictions of these defendants represent a significant step towards obtaining justice for all crime victims, regardless of background."

The other three men pleaded guilty to burglary and received sentences of 10 to 13 years.

They also stole the victim's laptop, cellphones and nearly $1,000 in cash before leaving her tied up in the hotel room, prosecutors said.

It was not considered a hate crime because all four men dated people from the transgender community, the prosecutor noted.

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