Judge Orders Sex-Change Surgery for Inmate Serving Life-Without-Parole Term


Federal Judge Mark Wolf in Boston ordered sex reassignment surgery for Michelle Kosilek, a prisoner serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for murdering his wife, reports the National Law Journal. One of Kosilek’s lawyers believes it to be the first ruling in the nation to order sex reassignment surgery for a prisoner. Kosilek, a transsexual whose first name was originally Robert, is seeking the only form of treatment that department doctors have deemed adequate to treat his mental illness, severe gender identity disorder.

In prison, Kosilek has tried to kill himself twice and to castrate himself. “Kosilek has proven…that the [department] Commissioner’s purported security concerns are a pretext to mask the real reason for the decision to deny him sex reassignment surgery — a fear of controversy, criticism, ridicule, and scorn,” Wolf wrote. “Therefore, Kosilek has proven that the [department] is violating his rights under the Eighth Amendment.” Kosilek murdered his wife, Cheryl McCaul, in 1990 after she expressed anger upon finding Kosilek wearing her clothes. The two met in a drug rehabilitation facility, where McCaul was a volunteer.

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