Transgender Female Inmate Who Sued Corrections Department Over Living Situation, Alleged Abuse, Accused Of Raping Other Inmates

Its a scenario that you don’t hear about every day, but a transgender female Illinois Department of Corrections inmate has been accused of raping other female inmates, according to media reports.

The inmate who has been allegedly accused, Janiah Monroe–who was formerly known as Andre Patterson–filed a class action lawsuit back in February 2019 accusing the Department of violating the Eighth Amendment rights of transgender inmates; the 8th Amendment outlaws the imposition of cruel and unusual punishments by government. 

According to Monroe, the Department denied medical treatment for gender dysphoria for transgender inmates and frequently housed transgender inmates with other inmates who match their biology, not their gender identity, exposing them to violence and harassment. Monroe alleged that she had been on the receiving end of such treatment at the men’s prison she had been housed at.

Monroe also said she had been sexually assaulted by male inmates as well.

Studies have shown that transgender and gay inmates routinely face exploitation, harassment, and abuse in male-oriented prisons, and several groups have long advocated for better treatment of LGBTQ inmates overall in American prisons.

Chief U.S. District Judge Nancy Rosenstengal’s answer to Monroe’s concerns, however, was to reportedly order corrections officials to stop classifying inmate housing assignments on a biological basis.

But at least one female inmate is accusing Monroe, who identifies as female but reportedly still has male genitalia, of being the one doing the abusing and that inmate alleged in a lawsuit–filed anonymously–that she was “easily overpowered” by and then sexually assaulted by Monroe, whom she shared housing with.

That inmate also claimed DOC personnel retaliated against her and colluded to cover up her allegations.

Monroe’s attorney, Chicago attorney Alan Mills, denied the rape accusation against Monroe, blaming the accusations on “transphobia”, which is defined as bigotry or prejudice against transgender persons.

“Transphobia exists everywhere, both out here on the street and in prison, so it’s not surprising that there are some people who feel uncomfortable with her presence in a women’s prison,” Mills said in an interview.

Though Monroe is not named in the lawsuit, Mills confirmed to a local PBS station that she is the inmate accused of the alleged rape.

Its unclear if the rape accusation made against Monroe will prompt Illinois corrections officials to modify the housing status of transgender inmates overall.

Monroe is serving a life sentence for murder and other charges.

Monroe has been assigned to solitary housing; she becomes eligible for parole in 2051 and has been serving time since 2005.

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