Trans Woman Prisoner Raped Again While Pursuing Lawsuit For Safe Housing
Ashley Alton Diamond, a trans woman prisoner in Georgia currently suing the state for safe housing after having endured three years of repeated rapes and being denied hormone therapy, has reported being raped again by her cellmate at Georgia State Prison where she was being temporarily held in order to receive medical treatment in Augusta.
Via Macon Telegraph:
Diamond alleges that her cellmate sexually assaulted her. Investigators are trying to determine whether the incident was captured on video, and an independent investigation into her Prison Rape Elimination Act complaint is underway.
Later, when being driven together to Rutledge State Prison in Columbus, Diamond’s alleged attacker threatened her about saying anything.
Diamond reported the alleged assault to officials in Columbus, and the prisoner was housed in “segregation” until he was relocated to another facility weeks later.
Diamond alleges that the prison’s warden told inmates about the incident, including information identifying her alleged attacker. The warden denies the allegations.
Diamond also alleges that she was labeled “a snitch” by other inmates because of the warden’s statements, and that she’s been pressured — and threatened — by inmates to withdraw her complaint.
Diamond entered the prison system three years ago for a non-violent offense, and is likely to remain there until 2023. She understands doing time for her crime, but also understands that she was sentenced to prison time–not being repeatedly and violently raped for three years.
In addition to the sexual assaults, Diamond has been harassed both by prisoners and employees of the prison, denied the medically necessary hormone therapy she had taken for over 17 years prior to being incarcerated, thrown in solitary for “pretending to be a woman” as well as for speaking with lawyers at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who are representing her in her lawsuit.
59% of trans women in the United States prison system report being sexually assaulted. This is not acceptable. Prison rape is not a joke, it is a horror. It is possible to give these women safe housing if prisons follow the law, including the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2000. Unfortunately, they’re just not too eager to do that.
Diamond is in jail for theft. Theft is not punishable by rape. The Georgia prison system is responsible for her safety while she is imprisoned there, and they need to get their acts together and give this woman the safety she needs and the medical treatment she requires.