View Full Version : Massachusetts judge rules murderer will get $20,000 sex change paid for by TAXPAYERS

09-04-2012, 08:58 PM

A man convicted of coldly strangling his wife and leaving her body in a Massachusetts parking lot will be the first inmate in the nation to receive sexual reassignment surgery paid for by the state, a federal judge ruled today.

Robert Kosilek, who has been known as Michelle for more than a decade, has already received hormone treatments, psychotherapy and electrolysis while serving a life sentence as a woman in an all-male prison. While imprisoned, she has tried to commit suicide twice and tried to castrate herself.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled today that Kosilek, who was convicted of first degree murder in the killing of his wife Cheryl in 1990, has won the right to receive a $20,000, state-funded sex change operation because it is a 'serious medical need'.

Prison officials have opposed the decision based on the safety of Kosilek, saying that her housing and security needs would be impossible to meet as she would surely be a target for assault.

According to court documents, Kosilek began transitioning to a female after his arrest and indictment.

He first launched his campaign against the Massachusetts Department of Correction 12 years ago.

'Everybody has the right to have their health care needs met, whether they are in prison or out on the streets,' Kosilek said last year from a state prison in Norfolk, Mass.

'People in the prisons who have bad hearts, hips or knees have surgery to repair those things.'

She continued: 'My medical needs are no less important or more important than the person in the cell next to me.'

In 2002, Wolf ruled that Kosilek was entitled to treatment for gender-identity disorder, but stopped short of ordering surgery. She was also granted electrolysis treatment and hormone therapy.

Kosilek sued again in 2005, arguing that the surgery is a medical necessity.

In his ruling Tuesday, Wolf found that surgery is the 'only adequate treatment' for Kosilek's 'serious medical need.'

'The court finds that there is no less intrusive means to correct the prolonged violation of Kosilek's Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care,' Wolf wrote in his 126-page ruling.

Prison officials have repeatedly cited security concerns in the case, saying that allowing her to have the surgery would make her a target for sexual assaults by other inmates.

Massachusetts Correction Commissioner Kathleen Dennehy has said that if Kosilek has the surgery, the consequences would be unprecedented.

'The safety and security concerns are enormous,' Dennehy testified, according to CBS.

But Wolf found that the DOC's security concerns are 'either pretextual or can be dealt with by the DOC.'

He said it is up to prison officials to decide how and where to house Kosilek after the surgery.

Inmates in Colorado, California, Idaho and Wisconsin have sued unsuccessfully to try to get the surgery, making similar arguments that denying it violates the U.S. Constitution's protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

'This is not a choice. Transsexuals are born and not made,' said psychiatry professor George R. Brown at East Tennessee State University.

'If you didn't have this condition, why would you want to have your genitals removed, if not by a competent surgeon but by your own hand?'

According to research by Brown, about 27,000 people nationwide have gender identity disorder. Experts estimate 500 to 750 Americans undergo the surgery each year, with hundreds more seeking the procedure abroad.

Federal courts have said prisons must provide adequate medical care, and that they must protect inmates from themselves. But correctional officials and lawmakers balk at using taxpayer money for sex-change operations that can cost up to $20,000.

Brown estimates that at least 750 of the more than 2 million prisoners nationwide had gender identity disorder in 2007, his latest count.

09-05-2012, 08:52 AM
I have always wondered about this. If you are a man in prison and get a sex change you would be a target for sexual assult. However you cannot go to a female prison because you will still be genetically a man and that would also be unfair to the female inmates. Nor would it be feasible to build special prisions just for transexuals. Any ideas.

09-05-2012, 09:50 AM
I have nothing against people who have gender reassignment surgery, but I don't know if it's up to the tax payers to cover the costs. I get that inmates have cancer treatments and other life threatening ailments, but is this really a life or death situation? I view it more as an elective type of surgery even though I know it goes deeper than that for people who have sex changes. It seems to me that this person isn't doing to die or have any harm done to them if they don't get the surgery. Although is that the only thing taken into consideration when a person in prison wants medical attention?

I will say that the issue of housing brings up a pretty good debate. I'm not sure what the answer is. Seems to me that is he has the full change and has the genitals of a women then he'd be housed with women, but like I said I'm not sure. Would he pose a threat to the women once he was completely converted? I'm curious to see where other people stand on this topic.

09-05-2012, 04:24 PM
I am all for him having his surgery, as soon as he is released. The courts said he can have surgery, it did not specify when he could have it did they?

09-06-2012, 09:04 PM
Just for the record I know that the taxpayers pay for basically everything for inmates. The story had the TAXPAYER part capitalized and included so I kept it like that. It isn't like the rest of the stuff they do is free and just this gets paid for.

09-06-2012, 10:16 PM
i would be against a rapist, pedophile, or murderer, getting even cancer treatment.

i think the 20k should come out of the judges pocket, since he thinks it is needed.

09-07-2012, 08:37 AM
I think situations like this need to be ruled on by some type of medical board. I don't believe that this judge is a medical doctor so I'm not sure how much expertise he would have on transgendered people. I understand that everyone she be free to live life as he/she sees fit but this is a very unique situation.

09-07-2012, 01:07 PM
$20,000 for a sex change operation sounds a little cheap.

09-07-2012, 09:09 PM

The niece of the woman who was strangled to death by her husband as he was transitioning into a female identity blasted a judge's decision to grant the convicted killer a taxpayer-funded sex change and called on the state to appeal the controversial ruling.

Laura Brandel said on Thursday that she is working with Senator Scott Brown to prevent Robert Kosilek, who has been known by the name Michelle Kosilek for the past decade, from getting the surgery which Judge Mark Wolf ruled this week was a medical necessity.

'As far as Iím concerned, he deserves nothing,í Brandel told the Boston Globe. 'If he wants to attempt suicide and take his own life, let him. It might sound cold to you, but itís cold what he did to her.í

09-10-2012, 08:47 AM
I'm not mad at the neice of the victim at all for saying what she said.