British Man Who Raped 2 Young Girls Gets Free Sex Change to Move to Women's Prison

British Man Who Raped 2 Young Girls Gets Free Sex Change to Move to Women's Prison

A man who raped two young women before undergoing a gender reassignment surgery to become a woman has been moved to a women's only prison in the U.K.

BBC News reported Tuesday that Jessica Winfield, who was born Martin Ponting, had been serving a life sentence at the top security Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire, but has now been moved to HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, Surrey.

Winfield, 50, had reportedly complained 10 years ago about being targeted and victimized as a transsexual in Whitemoor.

The convict, who received a taxpayer-funded $10,000 sex change operation, had previously written to prisoners' newspaper Inside Time, describing being given a "hard time because of my sexuality, possibly through lack of understanding and empathy."

"I have changed my name to that of a female to prove to the authorities and everyone concerned that I am very serious about my gender and that I do not feel right being a man," Winfield wrote back then.

Winfield was jailed for life in 1995 after raping two young girls.

Some of the prisoner's victims have said that being allowed a sex change was "diabolical," given the circumstances.

"He may have changed physically but his brain is still the same," one of the female victims told The Sun newspaper, adding, "To assume the identity of a woman after what he did is a kick in the teeth."

The woman, whose name was not shared, continued, "There are not enough words to describe him and the evil he has done. It is diabolical they have allowed him to have a sex change and diabolical that he could be freed this year."

It is not yet known whether Winfield's request to be transferred later on this year will be granted, though BBC noted that other transgender inmates have been moved from male to female prisons in the past as well. It said that the Prison Service is required by law to move a person that has a "gender recognition certificate" to the prison of their chosen gender.

As many as 80 transgender people are believed to be in prison in England and Wales, it added.

Groups such as Voice4Victims, which advises on victims' rights in the U.K., argued that the case "highlights the great imbalance of equality within our justice system."

"Rapist has sex change op funded by NHS whilst victims struggle to access treatment support and recovery," the group added in a message on Twitter on Monday.

Concerns over whether male prisoners could move to women's prisons have also been talked about in the United States, with Fox News host Tucker Carlson asking Democrat Zac Petkanas whether or not that is a possibility in a debate on transgender issues at the end of February.

"If your sex is what you say it is, then what prevents me from playing on a women's field hockey team? What prevents me from getting convicted of a felony and demanding to go to a women's prison?" Carlson asked at the time.

Petkanas replied by saying, "it is not a real question, because it is pretty absurd."


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