“When I got there, there was blood all over the floor. I don’t know if I was just stupid or I’d seen a lot of The A-Team, but I just started cutting off the bloody carpet and put it in plastic bags. The body was already in a box,” Synthia says. She claims that she and a few other jittery gang members then dropped the box off in a Bronx underpass and later set it on fire. The victim turned out to be a 13-year-old runaway named Ebony Nicole Williams.
Synthia says she slipped away to the trannie-friendly Skyway Motel in Jersey City for about five days. “I was hiding out in drags in a diner, like in the movies,” she remembers. “Lionel Richie’s ‘Stuck on You’ was on the jukebox. I would listen, and it would just erase everything from my mind.” But when her mother heard that the police were looking for her, she persuaded Synthia to turn herself in.
During the trial, witnesses testified that Synthia and Carlos Franco, another Latin King member, committed the murder. They also claimed that Synthia had raped the girl, until one person let it slip that she had been wearing a skirt that night. “They had to switch their story in the trial because how do you tell the jury that he had on a dress and then he was raping a girl?” Synthia says. “I’ve never had sex with a female in my life.”
On October 16, 1996, 22-year-old [Synthia] was convicted of murder and manslaughter. She was sentenced to 25 years to life. TheDaily Newsreported she was wearing the signature yellow-and-black Latin King beads around her neck.
This is the closest any source gets to substantiating the claim that Synthia China-Blast was a “convicted rapist.” There is no chance that a trans woman of color received a fair trial and to simply take these accusations at face value is unwarranted.
This is the extent of the support Laverne Cox is raising for China-Blast. To reform abusive prison conditions for all New York trans inmates who are already in prison and staying there.
I cannot speak to the events surrounding the murder of Ebony Nicole Williams beyond that to take the accusations against China-Blast simply at face value ignores systemic oppression and judicial rail-roading of trans women of color and is not a rigorous inquiry.
However Cox is doing the basic humanitarian work of prison reform and it is libelous to claim she is an endorser of child rape and murder, and such a lurid accusation is based on bald racialized transmisogyny.