Transgender Inmate Accused of Sexual Assault at Women's Prison

A transgender inmate at a California women's prison allegedly committed a sexual assault on a female inmate, sparking outrage and concern for prisoner safety. The accused inmate, Jonathan Robertson, had previously threatened female inmates and was later transferred to a lower-security facility.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Transgender Inmate Accused of Sexual Assault at Women's Prison

Transgender Inmate Accused of Sexual Assault at Women's Prison

A transgender inmate at the Central California Facility for Women allegedly committed a sexual assault on a female inmate on May 19, 2024, sparking outrage and concern for the safety of female prisoners. The accused inmate, Jonathan Robertson, who also goes by the name Siyaah Skylit, had previously threatened female inmates, shouting "Fuck all you bitches. I'll rape you. I'll rape your mama. I'll fuck all you bitches up — there is nothing you bitches can do."

Why this matters: This incident highlights the ongoing debate about the safety and well-being of female prisoners when housed with transgender inmates who retain male genitalia, and raises questions about the effectiveness of current prison policies in protecting vulnerable populations. The outcome of this case may have significant implications for prison reform and the rights of female inmates.

The victim of the alleged assault was taken to a medical-administrative building and later transported away on a stretcher under a "Code 3" alert, indicating she was unresponsive and unable to be revived via immediate methods. Despite Robertson's threatening behavior, the inmate was initially released back onto the yard before being moved to administrative segregation.

The Warden later overruled the decision to move Robertson to administrative segregation, citing that an inmate-to-inmate threat is not a sufficient offense. Two days after the alleged assault, several female inmates, including Mimi Le, were placed on a "confidential" list, indicating their immediate safety was under threat. Robertson was subsequently transferred to the California Institution for Women, a lower security women's correctional facility, just days after issuing rape threats.

Mimi Le, one of the inmates placed on the confidential list, expressed her fear and distress over the situation, stating, "This was very triggering and saddening for everybody... To be threatened by a man with doing a thing that he can do, that he is capable of doing, that he may already have done to other women, is terrifying." The Women's Liberation Front also condemned the incident, with executive director Mahri Irvine asking, "How many more rapes must these women endure before prison administrators and state legislators will be held accountable for their abject failure to protect female inmates from predatory men?"

The case highlights the disproportionate risks faced by female inmates when housed with transgender prisoners who retain male genitalia. Statistics show that nearly 50% of male inmates identifying as female have been convicted of a sexual offense, compared to 11% of biological males who do not identify as female. In California, 33.8% of incarcerated men seeking to transfer to women's prisons are registered sex offenders, and the sex offender inmate population is responsible for up to 50% of rapes that occur within the prison system.

The alleged sexual assault at the Central California Facility for Women is part of a larger trend of predatory male inmates targeting vulnerable women in prisons across the country. The incident has sparked outrage and criticism of prison administrators for failing to adequately protect female inmates from the threat posed by certain transgender prisoners. As Mahri Irvine of the Women's Liberation Front stated, "We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the reported rape at CCWF and by the reported actions of prison administrators, who have obviously failed in their duties to protect female inmates."

Key Takeaways

  • Transgender inmate Jonathan Robertson allegedly committed sexual assault on a female inmate at Central California Facility for Women.
  • Robertson had previously threatened female inmates with rape and violence.
  • Despite threats, Robertson was initially released back onto the yard before being moved to administrative segregation.
  • Female inmates were placed on a "confidential" list, indicating their immediate safety was under threat.
  • Statistics show 50% of male inmates identifying as female have been convicted of a sexual offense.