Massachusetts Judge Mark Wolf ordered prison officials to permit sex change surgery for an inmate convicted of killing his wife in 1990 – at taxpayer expense. Robert Kosilek, now known as Michelle, is the first known transgender convict granted permission for a sex-reassignment procedure while behind bars, according to Fox News.
The US District magistrate ruled that Kosilek has the right to receive hormone treatments and live as a woman inside an all-male correctional facility. The transgender inmate first won a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Department of Corrections more than a decade ago, according to the Boston Globe. The initial court action granted treatment for gender-identity disorder, but did not go so far as to allow sex change surgery. The convicted murderer once again initiated a lawsuit in 2005, claiming that a sex-reassignment procedure was a medical necessity.
Speaking during the Tuesday ruling, Judge Wolf noted the proposed gender-altering operation was the only “adequate treatment” for Kosilek’s “serious medical need.” The Massachusetts US District Court official also stated that a less intrusive manner to correct the violation of the inmate’s Eighth Amendment right to medical care was not available. The ruling in the prison lawsuit case was 126-pages long.
Correctional administrators argued against the sexual reassignment operation, maintaining that allowing the convicted murderer to live inside the facility as a woman would make her a sexual target by other felons. Wolf cast aside the DOC’s concerns over the felon’s safety as “pretextual” and claimed the security matters can be dealt with by department staffers. Where Richard Kosilek will live after undergoing the operation to become formally become Michelle, is entirely up to prison administrators, the judge’s decision concluded.