A female prisoner at the Logan Correctional Center in Illinois is suing the prison for reportedly covering up her alleged sexual assault at the hands of a transgender inmate last year.
The woman, who is identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, alleged that an inmate who "identifies as female, but still has male genitalia" was moved into her housing unit last summer and immediately began to "express interest" in her, according to a report by WTTW-TV.
In the lawsuit, she recalled that she was "terrified of this inmate as the inmate was much bigger and stronger" and because she had heard that the inmate "had assaulted prior cellmates and had been convicted of murder."
The woman then said she was raped by the inmate, but that after she reported the incident to authorities only a "sham investigation" ensued.
The woman alleged that she was told by an officer "that he did not believe her and he pressured Plaintiff to say there was no sexual assault." She said she was "coerced" into saying the encounter was consensual and soon after filed a grievance with the Illinois Department of Corrections.
In return, the IDOC determined that she committed a "major infraction" for filing a "false" complaint under the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
The alleged assailant, who is identified in the lawsuit as Janiah Monroe, formerly known as Andre Patterson, had been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the attempted murder of a government employee and then received 20 more years after he strangled a cellmate to death.
Monroe and another inmate had previously sued the IDOC, demanding a transfer to women's prison facilities after they had allegedly been the subject of abuse and insults from male inmates.
The suit names Logan's acting warden Beatrice Calhoun as a defendant, along with officers Brent Keeler and Todd Sexton.
Alan Mills, who leads the Uptown People's Law Center, and has represented Monroe in the past, said that Monroe has been the subject of unfounded complaints ever since transferring to Logan. Mills added that he believes transphobia to be the reason for allegations against his former client.
"A deeper point here is that since Ms. Monroe was transferred to Logan, she's made a lot of friends and has found substantial support among other prisoners and some staff," Mills said, according to WTTW-TV. "But transphobia exists everywhere, both out here on the street and in prison, so it's not surprising that there are some people who feel uncomfortable with her presence in a women's prison."
On the other hand, the plaintiff's attorneys are suggesting that the prison is attempting to cover up the incident so as to not draw unwanted attention to their controversial transgender policies.
"The transfer of transgender inmates from male to female prisons has been a contentious policy within IDOC," the attorneys wrote in the complaint. "In an attempt to justify the transfers, Defendants Sexton, Calhoun, Keeler and currently other unknown IDOC employees covered up the sexual assault of Plaintiff and tried to falsely classify it as consensual, to keep it from being considered a PREA violation."
(H/T: The Post Millennial)