Transgender Rapist Gets Free Sex Change

News: US News
by Martin Barillas  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  December 30, 2020   

Judge bills taxpayers

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WAUPUN, Wisconsin (ChurchMilitant.com) - A federal judge is ordering taxpayers to fund sex reassignment surgery for a Wisconsin man incarcerated after raping his own daughter.

According to a Wisconsin judge, Mark Campbell showed a "lack of remorse, empathy or responsibility" for the serial rape and sexual abuse of his 10-year-old daughter. This did not prevent U.S. District Judge James Peterson, however, from ordering the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WDOC) to house him in a women's prison while awaiting sex reassignment surgery, courtesy of taxpayers.

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Mark Campbell as he continues his "transition"

"Defendants have identified no practical impediment to providing sex reassignment surgery to Campbell. The surgery is no more expensive or difficult than other treatment that the DOC routinely provides," wrote Peterson in his December ruling.

The judge ordered the state to provide him "sex reassignment surgery" at taxpayer expense. While noting that scheduling the required surgery may take as long as a year because there is but one surgeon in Wisconsin qualified to perform the operation, the judge called on the state to hold Campbell in a women's prison until then.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported earlier this month that Campbell would thus become the "first in Wisconsin to have the procedure while in state custody."

Child Victim Considered Suicide

The 45-year-old male felon, who calls himself Nicole Rose, was arrested in 2007 after relatives reported the abuse in River Falls, Wisconsin. Campbell's daughter told a social worker that he frequently raped her, masturbated in her presence, exposed her to pornography and used various sex toys on her. His young son witnessed some of the crimes. Campbell left pornography, knives, a firearm, sex toys and dangerous chemicals and fuel within reach of his children. The girl told authorities that she contemplated suicide in order to escape. 

Campbell left pornography, knives, a firearm, sex toys and dangerous chemicals and fuel within reach of his children.

Charged in 2007 with first-degree sexual assault of a child, incest, exposing a child to harmful material and causing a child to view or listen to sexual activity, Campbell confessed to his crimes and was at first granted a plea deal for confessing to first-degree sexual assault. Campbell received in exchange a sentence of no more than 20 years, with five to seven years' initial confinement. A pre-sentence investigation (PSI), however, had recommended that he be initially confined for 20–40 years, followed by seven to 10 years' extended supervision.

"I can't think of a more — short of a homicide or physically injuring a child — a more horrific offense and more damaging offense committed against [a child]," said Pierce County District Attorney John O'Boyle at the time. He also said Campbell showed "absolutely no remorse," "no empathy" and "no accountability for his behavior."

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Protesting, Campbell argued that he took the plea deal because he was told he was not likely to win at trial. Campbell requested instead a two-to-three-year sentence. In response, a court sentenced him to 30 years' initial confinement as part of a total 40-year sentence, having found that he showed a pattern of sexual abuse and lacked boundaries for his behavior.

When Campbell appealed on the grounds that Judge Robert Wing should have used state sentencing guidelines, the Wisconsin District III Court of Appeals agreed with Campbell and ordered that the case be re-sentenced. However, on appeal, Circuit Court Judge James Duvall sentenced the offender with a longer sentence of 44 years, which consists of 34 years' initial confinement and 10 years' extended supervision. This sentencing took into account Campbell's prior record of three felonies.

I can't think of a more — short of a homicide or physically injuring a child — a more horrific offense and more damaging offense.

Judge Duvall told Campbell in court, "You are 100% to blame for what you did to that child. There's very little hope of providing restitution to the victim because you violated her trust." 

Prisoner Sues for Sex Change

Following his failures to obtain the cosmetic surgery he desired at public cost, Campbell threatened in 2013 to self-mutilate his genitals.

In prison, Campbell began to claim that he identified as a woman, while a psychiatrist diagnosed him with gender dysphoria. Campbell took to calling himself Nicole Rose, and prison authorities began to administer hormones and provide him with feminine clothing and counseling. 

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U.S. District Judge James Peterson

In 2016, he sued several prison officials, including psychiatrist Dr. Kevin Kallas, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and sought damages and injunctive relief in the form of surgery, "light makeup, electrolysis, breast augmentation and voice therapy." 

Claiming that prison officials violated the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, Campbell claimed that they were indifferent to his claims. A three-judge panel, with one exception, ruled against his claim. The majority opinion found that "prison officials followed accepted medical standards."

On Dec. 8, Peterson, a 2013 Obama appointee, ruled that the state of Wisconsin had violated Campbell's rights by displaying "deliberate indifference" to his claims for specific medical attention, despite having given him recommended medical attention. Peterson found that Campbell allegedly displays a severe form of gender dysphoria, in which having a penis ostensibly causes him "severe anguish."

Peterson found that WDOC's contention, that Campbell would not qualify for sex reassignment surgery because he would not be able to live a "real life" there as a woman, proved the state was "deliberately indifferent" to his mental state.

"Campbell continues to suffer from gender dysphoria, which causes her anguish and puts her at risk of self-harm or suicide," Peterson wrote. He added that "monetary damages, even if they were available, would not alleviate her suffering."

Peterson found that Campbell allegedly displays a severe form of gender dysphoria, in which having a penis ostensibly causes him 'severe anguish.'

Even so, the judge ruled against Campbell's requests for voice therapy, breast augmentation and electrolysis, saying that "the rights of transgender persons and sex reassignment surgery remain politically controversial, even outside the prison context." Peterson added, "Some members of the public are outraged at any effort to improve the health and well-being of inmates, but the true public interest lies in alleviating needless suffering by those who are dependent on the government for their care.

He concluded that "interest is served by an injunction requiring the Wisconsin [Department of Corrections] to promptly arrange for Campbell to be assessed by a qualified surgeon for sex reassignment surgery, and to provide that surgery if the surgeon deems her to be a suitable candidate."

Housing Conundrum

Peterson further recommended but did not order WDOC to house Campbell in a women's prison. Because only one Wisconsin prison houses both male and female inmates, WDOC said they would require him to live in a women's prison for at least one year before surgery. For his part, Peterson would not condition the surgery on such a condition.

He wrote: "She has waited long enough." After the ruling, Campbell's attorney Tom Heneghan said that Campbell "assumes, and probably correctly, her life will be easier [in a women's facility], because she will be with other women."

Peterson dismissed undisclosed testimony from Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University, who was a witness for prison authorities. She testified about autogynephilia, which Osborne offered in response to the court's question about any potential link between gender dysphoria and crime. The judge called her testimony "speculative and ultimately irrelevant."

A link between gender dysphoria and crime has been established in the past. For example, in 2018, male prisoner Karen White was sentenced to incarceration for life in 2018 by a British court after he raped vulnerable women both inside and outside the prison confines. Described as "predatory and controlling," White, 54, has been described as an "alleged transgender female" who is a danger to women and children. After being arrested on allegations of repeatedly stabbing a 66-year-old neighbor, he was assigned to the HMP New Hall prison for women in West Yorkshire, where he raped a female prisoner in 2016.

A prison service spokesperson told the court in October 2018, "We apologize sincerely for the mistakes which were made in this case. While we work to manage all prisoners, including those who are transgender, sensitively and in line with the law, we are clear that the safety of all prisoners must be our absolute priority."

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