Must Transgender People Be Raped in Jail?

A 23 year-old transgender woman was arrested on a parole violation, and (mistakenly?) placed with male prisoners in a Manhattan jail. There, she says, she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a guard. Which is apparently standard and expected.

The inmate, who's filed a suit against the city, is not named, but the NYT says that she'd "undergone hormone therapy but had not had gender reassignment surgery." While in jail, she says corrections officer Roberto Morales (who was arrested yesterday) sexually harassed her multiple times over the course of a month, and raped her in a stairwell. She also says she was forced to perform oral sex on a male nurse in the prison ward of a hospital facility last year. The specifics of her case are disturbing; but more disturbing is that this seems to be expected, or at least tolerated.

"This is just a case of complete and utter indifference to a transgender woman," Mr. Maazel said. The woman is no longer in jail. The lawyer said the suit also objected to the Correction Department's lack of a policy for placing transgender men and women.

No policy! Just stick em in there, sink or swim. Jesus Christ. It gives the sense that any transgender person who gets arrested in New York goes in with an expectation that, chances are, they'll be sexually assaulted. That's a scandal.

[NYT. Pic via]