U.K. Prisoner Who Identifies As Female Accused Of Sexual Assaults Spurs Transgender Debate
A 'transgender' prisoner in the United Kingdom who has self-identified as a woman for at least two years, yet never received any gender reassignment surgery, was moved from a women's prison to a male prison after four female inmates accused the prisoner of sexual assault. Several reports from the U.K. say that the prisoner was visibly aroused and that the alleged assaults occurred within days of the prisoner's arrival.
During sentencing the judge heard that the prisoner had identified as a woman for two years. Under U.K. law an individual can legally change the gender on their birth certificate, even if they have not received corrective surgery, if they have been medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria and have lived as a man or a woman for at least two years.
When sentencing prisoners, judges reportedly use this law often in deciding whether to send transgender prisoners to male or female prisons.
In this incident, one of the alleged victims told authorities that during the assault, she could see the erect penis of the prisoner accused of the attacks. Another female prisoner claims the prisoner made inappropriate comments about oral sex, and two more female prisoners claim that the prisoner kissed them on the neck.
The prisoner has been transferred to a men's prison. The case is expected to bring back a fiery debate in the U.K. over transgender rights.
Currently, U.K. law allows transgender inmates to dictate how they are searched and addressed by corrections officials. They are also allowed to dress, shower, and wash clothes in private, which the large majority of the prison population have no right to do.
In 1999, transgender prisoners also won the right to have corrective surgery while they are in custody, and at the taxpayers' expense.
A transgender prisoner serving a life sentence for murder in Scotland, who identifies as a woman received the surgery after it was discovered that the individual was having sexual intercourse with other female prisoners. The surgeries cost about 20,000 British pounds, which is about $26,000.