Trans woman receives six-figure sum after being raped in men’s prison
A prisoner has made history as the first trans woman to receive a six-figure settlement in New York after she was raped in a men’s prison.
LeslieAnn Manning was awarded what her lawyers say is a historic $100,000 in damages following a sexual abuse lawsuit that concluded earlier this year.
Manning, who was detained in Sullivan Correctional Facility in 2012, was raped by another inmate during her time in the facility, her lawsuit claimed.
Manning said she was sent to a part of the prison that was not sufficiently supervised in order to carry out duties as an educational assistant. Although she expressed concerns about entering this part of the prison, her issues were dismissed and she was instructed to enter the part of the prison known as Sublevel E.
During one of her visits in 2013, Manning was approached from behind, grabbed by her neck “with such force that she was unable to scream or resist,” and raped, according to her complaint, reports Broadly.
In response to the attack, Manning was placed in a form of solitary confinement known as protective custody (PC), which meant that she was locked in a cell for 23 hours of the day.
“Psychological trauma of being locked in a cell for 23 hours a day is pretty traumatic,” Manning told Broadly in a statement released through her lawyers.
“You feel like the walls are closing in around you.”
In order to win the case, Manning’s lawyers had to set a precedent: that prison officials knew that Manning was a vulnerable individual at risk of harm, but was not protected.
Law students at Cardozo Law School who represented Manning in the case said that the landmark victory will ensure that the rights of trans prisons will not “just be an afterthought.”
“I would hope that this will cause the Department of Corrections to take the safety of LGBT prisoners seriously, and to do what they are required to do under the law,” said Susan Hazeldean, who served as a lawyer on the case and worked with students from the Civil Rights Clinic at Cardozo Law School.