Scotland: Equality Network writes to chief public prosecutor after trans man sentenced over sex ‘by fraud’

April 9, 2013
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An LGBT rights group has written to Scotland’s chief public prosecutor over the decision to prosecute a trans man on the charge of “obtaining sexual intimacy by fraud”

Chris Wilson, 25, from Aberdeen, has been sentenced in relation to the charges – which he admitted to in March.

He’s been ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service and placed on the sex offenders register.

The victims were both under the age of consent; the offences took place in 2008 and 2010.

However, Wilson was not charged in relation to breaking Scotland’s laws governing the age of consent, but on the basis that he failed to disclose his birth sex.

Concerns have been raised that the case means trans people who choose not to reveal their history to their partners could face prosecution, should their partners find out about it later and choose to press charges.

Tim Hopkins, director of the Equality Network, said: “Chris Wilson broke the law by having sex with the 15-year-old girl who had claimed to be 16.

“But he was not charged for that, instead the charge was ‘obtaining sexual intimacy by fraud’ because in the procurator fiscal’s eyes he had ‘lied’ about his gender.

“It was the wrong charge to bring, and the message it sends to trans people is you will be criminalised if you don’t share your gender history with sexual partners.”

The Equality Network said they had written to the chief public prosecutor, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, asking for a meeting to discuss the implications of the case.

Scottish Transgender Alliance (STA), who are based at the Equality Network, warned that “the nature of this prosecution has seriously undermined trans people’s trust in the Scottish criminal justice system.”

STA’s Nathan Gale said: “We understand that some people may be distressed when they become aware of the trans status of a partner or former partner. But just in the same way that people aren’t obliged to share other personal information with potential partners, for example that they are married or have criminal convictions, trans people shouldn’t be forced to share private information about their gender history under fear of prosecution.”

More: Aberdeen, equality network, fraud, gender, gender identity, Scotland, Scotland, Scottish Transgender Alliance, sex offenders register, sexual fraud, STA, Trans, trans man, Transgender

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