A man in St. Paul, Minneapolis has been sentenced to at least 27 years in prison for raping a transgendered man who he thought was “a dude”.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Demetrius Jermaine Miller, 33, was convicted of first-degree aggravated robbery and first-degree criminal sexual conduct, earlier this month.

A jury heard that Miller attacked the 27-year-old, who was born female but is in transition towards becoming male, at a BP petrol station in St. Paul in May of this year.

Miller had accepted some marijuana from the victim, and then went with them to an alley adjacent to the petrol station.

It was there that Miller began beating the transgendered man and snatched his belongings.

The victim had an iPod, a phone and some cash in his pockets.

As Miller was struggling to take off the victim’s shorts, to get access to the items, Miller saw that he was biologically female – so he raped the victim, prosecutor Shereen Askalani said at trial.

At sentencing, Miller claimed that his attorneys, Richard Sarette and Evan Tsai were ineffective and during the proceedings, he had decided to fire them.

Since the attack, the victim’s personality is said to have changed with him now living in fear, according to Mr Askalani.