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Convicted Transgender Rapist Commits Several Sexual Offenses While Being Housed In Female Prison

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A prisoner has admitted to sexually assaulting inmates while locked up in a women’s only jail. That prisoner was transgender, born a male, but identifying as a woman.

The 52-year -old prisoner, rapist Karen White, has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual touching at HMP New Hall Prison in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The offenses took place between September and November of last year, according to BBC.com.

The details of the two separate offenses emerged when White appeared at Leeds Crown Court to admit to a rape that she committed outside the prison, using her penis.

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If it were up to you to decide where to place an individual who had been convicted as a sexual offender, someone who was accused of repeatedly raping a woman, would the first place you’d chose to place the individual be among unarmed women? What about vulnerable women, several who had suffered sexual abuse and assault outside of the prison?

Karen White is that individual. Born Stephen Wood and/or David Thompson (depending on whether or not the situation called for using an alias), with male reproductive organs that were used to commit a rape, not once (in 2003), not twice but at least three times (2016). White is “undergoing gender reassignment,” but has not had sexual reassignment surgery, meaning Karen White still has her penis.

2017 was not the first time that White had seen the inside of a jail cell, however. In 2001, White was jailed for 18 months for an act of gross indecency with a child. That sentence was served in an all male prison. Last year, White was sent to jail pending trial for her latest rape where she claimed to “identify” as a woman.

The Prison Service allowed Karen White to be housed in an all female prison, and in HMP New Hall, White sexually assaulted women withing days of arriving at the women-only prison last September.

White was transferred to HMP Armley, an all-male prison in Leeds, when the female inmates reported White for the attacks.

The current rules state a prisoner must be placed into a jail in accordance with their legally recognized gender. So how was this even allowed to happen?

If an inmate identifies with a gender different from the one they are born with, they have the ability to meet with the Transgender Case Board and plead their case with wanting to be housed in a different facility, but the board must take account of any previous offending history. That did not take place in this case. Why not?

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “We apologize sincerely for the mistakes which were made in this case.

“While we work to manage all prisoners, including those who are transgender, sensitively and in line with the law, we are clear that the safety of all prisoners must be our absolute priority.”

When White appeared at Leeds Crown Court last month, she pleaded guilty to two counts of rape in relation to the 2016 attack, and also admitted to indecently assaulting two of the four female prisoners that accused her from New Hall Prison. She denied the other two prison assaults and those two cases were dismissed-but remain on her file.

White appeared before the court with her brown hair tied up in a ponytail and walking with the assistance of a cane.

White had been living under the name David Thompson before she began to identify as a woman and begin the process of transitioning. She had lived as a woman when she raped another woman in 2016, which were details that came out in court.

White told the court she couldn’t be found guilty because she was not attracted to women and suffered from erectile dysfunction.

Prosecutor Charlotte Dangerfield, told Leeds Magistrates’ Court at a previous hearing that White had carried out the first offence within days of arriving at the all-female prison. She explained: “The defendant would stand very close to her, touch her arm and wink at her. Her penis was erect and sticking out of the top of her trousers.”

Miss Dangerfield described to the court an offense that happened on September 26th last year:

“She made inappropriate comments about oral sex, which made the complainant feel sick.

“She took hold of the complainant’s hand and put it on the defendant’s left breast – she could feel her padded bra.”

A third occasion on October 5th of last year, White began making inappropriate comments about oral sex to a fellow female prisoner. “She gave her a bear hug and the defendant pushed her hips towards her with such force that the complainant could feel his penis,” Dangerfield explained to the court.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court also heard that White had a previous conviction in 2001 for two offences of indecent assault and gross indecency with a child, which resulted in being jailed for 18 months at an all-male facility.

Spokeswoman for Fair Play for Women (which campaigns to preserve spaces held specifically for women), Dr. Nicola Williams, added:

“This just shows that the risk assessments that prisons do are not good enough, because it’s allowed a rapist, with a penis, into a women’s prison. And women have been sexually assaulted. It is absolutely outrageous.

“We have to change the prison guidance now. There should be no fully intact male-bodied prisoners, ever, in women’s prisons.”

The latest figures show that there are around 125 transgendered prisoners at any given time in jails in England and Wales.

White will be sentenced for all offenses on October 11th, 2018.

 

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