Things That Matter

A 19-Year-Old Maid Was Convicted Of Stealing Jewelry, But The Jury Felt So Bad They Paid Her Fine

Sandra Mendez Ortega, an undocumented 19-year-old single mother with a baby on the way, works as a maid – a tough job that affords little pay and is mostly held by women of color. According to The Washington Post, she cleaned houses for just $60 a day.

While cleaning the home of Lisa Copeland, Mendez Ortega stole three rings worth $5,000, reports The Washington Post. Police investigated the theft and questioned three women that all cleaned the home of Copeland family. Though all three initially denied the the theft, eventually Mendez Ortega confessed, which led to her arrest.

Mendez Ortega, who claims she didn’t know how much the rings were worth, spent eight days in jail and was released on $1,000 bond. Police made Mendez Ortega write an apology letter to Copeland. She wrote in Spanish: “Sorry for grabbing the rings. I don’t know what happened. I want you to forgive me.”

credit: PressFrom

During her trial, which ended last week, the jury was moved by Mendez Ortega’s story. She dropped out of school after sixth grade, was pregnant at 15 and again at 19, and did not have a job. Copeland called it a “sob story” and was angry to not only hear the jury and others feel compassion for Mendez Ortega, but that they’d give her such a small sentence for her crime.

Mendez Ortega’s punishment was a day’s pay — a $60 fine. According to the Washington Post, the jury felt terrible for convicting the single mother, and they felt even worse for making her pay that fine, so they did something extraordinary. They took up a collection to pay her fine.

The general sentiment was she was a victim, too,” said jury foreman Jeffery Memmott to The Washington Post. “Two of the women [jurors] were crying because of how bad they felt. One lady pulled out a $20 bill, and just about everybody chipped in.”

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credit: InformationLiberation

The juror then went to her home and gave her the entire collection of $80.

Copeland was not happy to hear about the jury’s giving nature.

“The punishment was she didn’t get paid for the day she stole from us,” Copeland told The Washington Post. “But then she did get paid for it. That’s changed my whole view of it.”

“She made $20 out of it, too,” she added.

So what did Mendez Ortega say when she was informed that the jury wanted to pay her fine?

“I became happy when I heard they wanted to give me that [money],” she said. “Thank you very much to all of them. God bless them.”

H/T: First the jury convicted this 19-year-old maid for stealing. Then they took up a collection to pay her fine.

READ: Latino Man Wins $20,000 Settlement After He Was Wrongfully Detained By ICE

Rihanna Revealed A Childhood Experience That She Says Connects Her To Mexican Migrants In The U.S.

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Rihanna Revealed A Childhood Experience That She Says Connects Her To Mexican Migrants In The U.S.

Badgirlriri / Instagram

Rihanna has never been afraid to speak her mind. She’s a woman who speaks up for issues she cares about and people listen to her. That’s why so many love her – present company included.

The ‘Umbrella’ singer, how has been kind of off the musical radar as of late, spoke out in a new interview with British Vogue and she had a few things to say about her upcoming music, where she’s been living, and her relationship with migrant communities.

Rihanna continues to use her platform and reach of over 200 million followers across social media to bring awareness to social issues that are important to her.

Credit: Chesnot / WireImage

In an interview with Vogue, the creator of “Fenty Beauty” explained feeling empathy with Mexicans and Latinos who are discriminated against in the United States, since she says that she knows how it feels to be on the end of discriminatory policies.

“The Guyanese are like the Mexicans of Barbados,” she said. “So I identify—and that’s why I really relate and empathize with Mexican people or Latino people, who are discriminated against in America. I know what it feels like to have the immigration come into your home in the middle of the night and drag people out.”

Similarly, she recalled the times in which she suffered and the difficulties her and mother experienced when they emigrated from Barbados.

Credit: badgirlriri / Instagram

Rihanna was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in St. Michael, Barbados to a Guyanese mother and Barbadian father.

In the Vogue interview, she added: “Let’s say I know what that fight is like. I have witnessed it, I have been there. I think I was eight years old when I had to live that in the middle of the night. So I know how daunting it is for a child, and if my father had been dragged out of my house, I can guarantee you that my life would have been a disaster.”

In that same Vogue interview, Rihanna confessed to something that few people outsider her inner circle even knew.

Credit: badgirlriri / Instagram

She explained that in recent years she has become a bit of a nomad, having a house in London, Paris, Barbados and Mexico, where she feels more relaxed.

“I just love Mexico. I really need to do my DNA test,” she jokingly told Afua Hirsch of Vogue. Perhaps she was an agave plant, in a past life, she pondered.

Rihanna has been vocal about immigrant rights in the past and takes great pride in her origins.

Credit: badgirlriri / Instagram

The Grammy Award winning singer and entrepreneur has very publicly thrown shade at President Trump over his cruel immigration policies.

Rihanna, who’s been appointed as the ambassador of her native country Barbados, is no stranger to political matters. She sent a cease-and-desist letter to President Donald Trump in early November after he played her music at one of his rallies. She also rejected the opportunity to perform during the Super Bowl LIII in February 2019 out of protest for Colin Kaepernick.

Plus, in an interview with The Cut last year about the word ‘immigrant’, she said: “For me, it’s a prideful word. To know that you can come from humble beginnings and just take over whatever you want to, dominate at whatever you put your mind to. The world becomes your oyster, and there’s no limit. Wherever I go, except for Barbados, I’m an immigrant. I think people forget that a lot of times.”

20 Creative Latina Cosplayers Who Will Inspire Your Next Comic Convention Look

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20 Creative Latina Cosplayers Who Will Inspire Your Next Comic Convention Look

@cosplayofcolor / Twitter

At comic conventions, fans from all over gather to celebrate comics, movies and TV shows. Between their special guest stars and exclusive content, comic conventions are like a wonderland to the millions of devoted fans who visit them. At these cons, the most creative ways to show your fandom some love is to cosplay.

Now that this year’s Emerald City Comic Con is over, comic convention season is in full swing. However, you don’t have to live in California or New York just to get into the cosplay goodness. Smaller conventions still pack in just as much fun and you’re guaranteed to find one close to you. With all those events, the cosplay options are endless.

Get in character and start planning your outfit because these looks will give you major inspiration.

1. Momo Kurumi Cosplay

Instagram / @momokurumicosplay

Latina artist, seamstress and cosplayer, Momo Kurumi lives by the philosophy that cosplay is for everyone. The award winning designer has participated in cosplay since 2007 and has done over 100 looks. Most of these costumes are completely self-made. Momo range is incredible; cosplaying anime characters, comic heroines, and Disney princesses. However, it’s her Chel cosplay — the South American native from “The Road To El Dorado” — that is especially giving us life.

2. Nerdtastic Mel

Instagram / @nerdtasticmel

It seems like there isn’t any look that this Afro-Latina cosplayer can’t pull off. A self proclaimed nerd, Nerdtastic Mel serves looks ranging from adorable Pokémon and beautiful Disney Princesses to a spot on Hermonie Granger and creepy cute Wednesday Adams. Be sure to check out her 90s cartoon looks as well for a shot of nostalgia.

3. Art by Renna

Instagram / @artbyrenna_

Cosplayer Art by Renna — real name Amanda — is just as comfortable in sexy looks as she is in her sweeter ones. If you catch her at a comic convention, she could be anyone from Mary Jane Watson to Maleficent. However, cosplay isn’t the only place she’s confident. Amanda is also a boudoir and lingerie model.

4. Iced Coffee Mel

Instagram / @icedcoffeemel

Iced Coffee Mel is a Columbian cosplayer practicing her craft in Toronto, Canada. Whether she’s working anime or comic characters, she completely transforms into her roles with impressive authenticity. Check out her quirky Mina Asido, her sultry Black Cat or her amazingly cool Sombra to get a feel of Mel’s versatility.

5. Jennocide Cosplay

Instagram / @jennocide_cosplay

Peruvian-Canadian cosplayer Jennocide is a queen of the head-to-toe look. Besides making sure her costuming is always on point, her attention to prop and accessory fabrication takes her looks to another level. Additionally, Jennocide is a master of makeup. Her Vemon, Gamora and Scar makeups are works of art. If that isn’t enough, her take on Zatanna is more than magical.

6. Moxxi Shenanigans

Instagram / @moxxishenanigans

Cosplayer and costume creator Moxxi Shenanigans’ looks are as diverse as they are creative. If you’re looking for inspo for your video game cosplay or are just curious to see a really impressive Gizmo costume, her Insta is a must-see. Besides well-known characters, she also creates her own — like her “Stars War” inspired Jedi Ariel.

7. Joanna Mari

Instagram / @joanna.mari

New York-based cosplayer Joanna Mari specializes in both Sci-Fi and Fantasy. A skilled prop fabricator, her expertise come in handy for characters ranging from Wonder Woman to Raven from “Teen Titans.” Her reimaginings of sweet cartoon characters like “Pokémon,” “My Little Pony” and “Carebears” into knights, warriors and mages is a thing of beauty.

8. Stephanie X Moon

Instagram / @stephaniexmoon_

Chicago cosplayer Stephanie X Moon likes to bring some sex appeal and a healthy dose of horror to her costuming. An alternative model, her pin up looks reimagine scary movie creators like Chucky and the Bride of Frankenstein. In addition to her spooky styles, she also gets inspiration from comic books; bringing to life characters like Scarlet Witch and Cat Woman.

9. Chicago Princess Sarah

Instagram / @Chicagoprincesssarah

As her name suggests, Chicago Princess Sarah is an Illinois-based cosplayer. A singer and artist, she works with the other talented character actresses at Chicago Princess Parties, a company that provides magical experiences for Disney lovers. Besides looking like a princess, she has to embody that character’s personality and vibe. Sarah has played everyone from Belle to Esmeralda but we’re partial to her Elena of Avalor — Disney’s first Latina princess.

10. Adonia GameGoddess

Instagram / @gamegoddess4ever1

Cosplayer Adonia GameGoddess is a Puerto Rican jack of all trades. Costume designer, prop maker, gamer and otaku, she brings her passion and talent to her looks. A regular guest at comic conventions around the nation, Adonia is at home whether she’s playing Green Latern Jessica Cruz or Bunny Bulma from “Dragon Ball Z.”

11. Cin’Von Quinzel

Instagram / @cosplayofcolor

Body positive cosplayer Cin’Von Quinzel is a self-taught costume maker from New York City. The Puerto Rican model and performer isn’t afraid to flaunt her curves in her unique takes on characters like Mercy from “Overwatch” or the Pokémon Vaporeon. As a plus-sized Afro-Latina, Cin’Von represents two marginalized groups in the cosplay community. Still, with looks like her impressive Hela cosplay, there’s no doubt about why she’s made a name for herself.

12. Ivvy Dream

Instagram / @ivvy_dream

Though she calls herself a “cosplayer in training,” Ivvy Dream’s collection of characters is already very impressive. The Puerto Rican and Nicaraguan artist mostly works with inspiration she finds from Japanese anime. You’ll find a Poison Ivy and Elmyra in her reprutoir, but she also seamlessly encapsulates Diane from “The Seven Deadly Sins.”

13. Surely Shirley Cosplay

Instagram / @surelyshirleycosplay

Lover of all things anime and manga, body positive cosplayer Surely Shirley is a crafty member of the cosplay community. Costumes like her take on Amethyst from “Steven Universe” and her Hinata from the “Naturo” series are spot on. However, it’s looks like her Bowsette (a female Bowser) that will really make an impression on you.

14. Ivy Doomkitty

Instagram / @ivydoomkitty

With over 300k Instagram followers, Ivy Doomkitty is one of the most popular Latina cosplayers in the world. Based out of LA, the international model is also a content creator, a pin up model and an advocate for body positivity. If you check out her previous looks, you’ll find sexy cosplays like her Ms Marvel and Jessica Rabbit. However, her Bison from “Street Fighter” proves that Ivy has her costuming down, head to toe.

15. Gabi Rupee

Instagram / @Myladygabriella

Atlanta cosplayer and self-proclaimed “anime trash,” Gabi Rupee’s cosplay looks are just as animated as her interests. The Brazilian-American gaming video creator draws on her love for Japanese animation to craft creative looks like her Captain Deku — a mashup of “Captain America” and “My Hero Academia.” As imaginative as that look is, we can’t help feeling that her Faye Valentine of “Cowboy Bebop” fame is positively spot on.

16. Julia Rose

Instagram / @diary_of_a_rose

Whether you love anime, video games or Disney characters, cosplayer Julia Rose has a look for you. Her adaptation of Pajama Party Ariel from “Ralph Breaks The Internet” is too precious for words. Her Princess Serenity from “Sailor Moon” is more than ethereal. Also, Julia’s playful Disneybound looks — like Edna from “The Incredibles” — are just as creative as her full costumes.

17. Phoenix Skye Cosplay

Instagram / @Phoenixskyecosplay

Phoenix Skye is a LGBT Dominicana that embodies that cosplay is for everyone. A body positive advocate, she documented her substantial weight loss through cosplay. She showsnl ws ithat no matter the size, she could rock her costumes. Check out her Gender-bent Joker for a real taste of her talent but we also can’t get enough of this gorgeous Moana look.

18. Yani Luv

Instagram / @yani.luv

“Teen Titans,” “Space Jam,” “My Hero Academia” and “Steve Universe.” These just a few of the fandoms multi-talented cosplayer Yani Luv has explored. The Afro-Latina Boricua utilizes both self-fabricated props and impressive body painting skills to embody her characters. While Yani cosplays plenty of human characters, we’re partial to her absolutely adorable take on Retsuko from Sanrio’s “Aggretsuko.”

19. Iza Ragnhildr

Instagram / @izunacosplay

Fashion design student Iza Ragnhildr should get extra points for practical application. Whether she’s cosplaying each and every favorite video game protagonist, the Cuban-Mexican artist fully transforms herself. A great example of this is her killer take on steam punk Poison Ivy.

20. Theophania Cosplay

Instagram / @theophania_cosplay

Video games and anime are usually Theophania’s go-to when it comes to cosplay. Besides her cute cosplays, the Houston-based Mexican Puerto Rican is a part of the Jammingers — a live action movie about a team of music-based superheroes. Her human Judy Hwa wazopps will also make you want to check out her incredible Disney cosplays.