Female inmates at one of Australia’s largest women’s correctional facility have launched a petition to have a trans-identified male sex offender removed out of fears for their own safety.
Women at the Dame Phyllis Frost Correctional Centre told the Herald Sun that the transgender male offender was moved to the Murray Protection Unit on July 5.
According to the Dame Phyllis petition, many women prisoners have been the victims of sexual assault and as a result, many “carry significant trauma associated with this experience.”
The petitioners say they have no prejudices against transgender individuals but are concerned for their safety as the inmate has a “working” penis and a history of violent sexual assault. Upon learning of the convict’s transfer, “the mental well-being of many of the women was severely compromised. They became visibly upset as they were triggered and traumatised,” reads the petition.
“We feel threatened, unsafe, distressed and traumatised with this current situation. Accordingly, we demand that (the inmate) be immediately removed from the Murray unit,” the petition says. “We consider this petition a matter of urgency and would therefore appreciate your prompt response.”
The report from the Herald Sun stated that the trans-identifying inmate pleaded guilty last year to sexually assaulting a woman on a street in Richmond, “while still a man.” Additionally, the news outlet revealed that the male transfer had also spent time in a European jail for a child sex offense.
While the name of the transferred inmate was not released, the details from the criminal’s background mirror that of Lisa Jones, a trans-identified male who had been sentenced to 3 years and 3 months in prison for sexually assaulting a woman last year.
Jones, aged 44 at the time, had stalked a woman as she was walking home on Lennox Street in Richmond before grabbing her and attempting to rape her. While pinning her down, Jones repeated: “Why won’t you lay down and have sex with me?”
“I didn’t do anything, it was her fault,” Jones, whose birth name is presently unknown, was reported to have said.
During the trial, it was revealed that Jones had a prior record for sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl in Germany, for which Jones served six years in a male prison there prior to being deported to Australia in 2018.
Australian media coverage of the assault referred to Jones as a woman and utilized feminine pronouns for him, with some outlets even insisting the sex attack had been “woman on woman” violence. News.com.au referred to Jones as a female, and repeatedly informed readers that he was a woman.