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A transgender woman has been imprisoned. Why in a male prison though?

A transgender woman has been imprisoned. Why in a male prison though?

Image source: © Canva
Weronika Plucińska,
12.05.2023 16:30

Lexy-Rose Crawford, 24, has been sent to prison for the second time in her life. This time the court convicted her of sex crimes and sent her to prison for nine years. Why did a transgender woman end up in a men's prison though?

Lexi-Rose Crawford (24) lives in England. Physically, she is a man, but as of 2019 she identifies herself as a woman. However, this was not enough for the court to send a transgender woman to a female prison.

The woman was first sentenced for four years in prison after having sexual relations with a child in 2017. She identified herself as a man at the time. At the time, the court also ordered her to serve her sentence in a male prison.

May 10, 2023. Crawford heard further charges. At that time, the accused began identifying herself as a woman. The aforementioned charges referred to a situation in 2019. Bristol Crown Court heard that Crawford had contacted a woman on Facebook.

The accused offered to play video games to her future victim. When she arrived at her home, she assaulted the newly acquainted woman. Despite repeated requests to stop, Crawford raped the woman.

The transgender woman explained that during the incident she was unaware of what she was doing. The judges did not believe her version of events. The jury unanimously sentenced her to prison.

Crawford will spend nine years in prison for rape and six and a half years for sexual assault. Both sentences will run concurrently.

Woman in men's prison

Under the British government's policy, which was introduced in February 2023, a transgender woman is assumed to be placed in a male prison. The guidelines state that transgender offenders will not be placed in prisons for the gender with which they identify. This is explained when, for example, they have male genitalia or have committed sex crimes.

In Crawford's situation, the judge additionally said that her acts were particularly serious. The British justice system also took into account her criminal history and the fact that the rape took place in the victim's home.

"Whether you remember raping her or not, it is clear that you ignored her wishes and protests, and continued," the judge referred to Crawford in the courtroom.

In addition, the judge decided that Crawford should have a restraining order against the victim. He also ordered the defendant to be signed to the Sex Offender Registry indefinitely.

"My trust in men has diminished even more"

In the victim's personal statement, we can read about her emotions throughout the incident. The woman wrote that she had to move out of the house due to flashbacks and nightmares. In addition, she struggled with anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

"Before this incident, I didn't trust men, but now that trust has diminished even more" we can read in the victim's statement.

Crawford’s defender

Charley Pattison is representing the defendant in court. The defense attorney said her client has been diagnosed with personality disorder, autism and gender dysphoria.

Ms. Crawford gets very upset just thinking about it. She was only 20 years old. It happened on furlough, but as of 2019 she had no problems," Pattison admitted in court.

The lawyer said the case took four years. During that time, Crawford was said to have experienced suicidal thoughts and self-mutilation. This was allegedly a coping mechanism for the entire situation.

In the end, the court decided that the defendant must serve two-thirds of the adjudicated sentence. Only after a certain amount of time has passed will she be able to seek early release.

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