Trans woman ‘sent to men’s jail and sexually harassed’
A trans woman is suing a sheriff in Texas after she was allegedly locked in a male prison where inmates masturbated in front of her.
Dallas woman Valerie Jackson, 32, was arrested in November 2016 after leaving a gun in her purse while travelling through security at Dallas Love Field airport.
Jackson was later let off of the gun charge, but not before she was allegedly subjected to shocking treatment in Dallas County jail.
“You’re going with the men because that’s what you are. You’re a man.”
According to a lawsuit filed on November 2, Jackson was sent to a men’s facility despite presenting as a transgender woman.
The Dallas Morning News reports allegations that guards forced Jackson to expose her genitals to them, claiming it was for her own “protection” because “we need to know if you’ve had a sex change or not.”
After officers ascertained that she had not undergone gender surgery from the forced search, the lawsuit says, Jackson was housed with men.
She was allegedly told: “You’re going with the men because that’s what you are. You’re a man.”
The newspaper notes that claims of a genital search come despite the US-wide Prison Rape Elimination Act, which states that detention facilities “shall not search or physically examine a transgender or intersex detainee for the sole purpose of determining the detainee’s genital status.”
The lawsuit alleges that in the shower, a male inmate masturbated while looking at her.
It adds of the harassment: “[Inmates asked] if she was a ‘tranny’ or a ‘real girl,’ telling her all the sexual things they wanted to do to her, grabbing themselves, calling her a ‘he/she’ and calling her many other derogatory words.”
The suit claims that Dallas County “failed to properly train and supervise jail staff to treat transgender inmates humanely,” and alleges that Jackson “suffered trauma, felt demoralized, anxious, stressed, a loss of dignity, and fear” as a result of her treatment.
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The lawsuit names Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown, as well as former Sheriff Lupe Valdez.
A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department said: “The Sheriff’s Department does not comment on lawsuits”
Valdez was the Democratic candidate to become Governor of Texas.
The Mexican-American lesbian police sheriff, who is running on a liberal, progressive platform, would become the first out LGBT+ statewide official in Texas if elected.
However, polling shows Republican candidate Greg Abbott with a 16 point lead over the Democrat in the November 6 midterms.