NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A man who repeatedly punched a transgender woman in New York City has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. says James Dixon pleaded guilty Monday in the death of 21-year-old Islan Nettles.

The victim was one of three transgender women who encountered a group of about seven young men on a Harlem street in August 2013.

Prosecutors said Dixon flirted with Nettles before realizing she was transgender. Then he punched her in the face; she fell and her head hit the pavement. He hit her some more before fleeing. She died five days later.

“I loved my baby – like I said, a handsome man and a beautiful woman,” the victim’s mother, Delores Nettles, said shortly after her death.

Vance says members of the transgender community are “far too often the targets of violent crime.”

He says he hopes the plea brings some comfort to Nettles’ family and friends.

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