Isla Bryson was taken to Cornton Vale Women’s Prison after being convicted of committing the rapes when she was still identified as a male, with the name Adam Graham.
The rapes happened in 2016 and 2019. Bryson decided to transition while awaiting trial.
However, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Bryson would not be stuck in Cornton Vale.
Bryson is due to receive his prison sentence next month – and the prison where that sentence will be served has been hotly debated.
The Scottish prime minister cited the director of Rape Crisis, which works against rape. Sturgeon said he doesn’t understand how it would be possible to have a rapist inside a women’s prison.
Referring directly to the case, Sturgeon confirmed: “This prisoner will not be incarcerated in Cornton Vale Women’s Prison.”
She said any prisoner who poses a risk of sexual offense is kept separate from other prisoners.
“There is no automatic right for a trans woman convicted of a crime to serve her sentence in a women’s prison, even if she has a gender recognition certificate,” she said. “Each case is subject to a rigorous individual risk assessment and the safety of other prisoners is paramount.”
On Thursday (1/26), a former Cornton Vale warden said the discussion about sending a transgender rapist to a women’s prison was an “unnecessary mess”. Rhona Hotchkiss, who ran Cornton Vale until 2017, said she reportedly refused to receive Isla Bryson in prison.
Debating Sturgeon in parliament, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross repeatedly asked where Bryson was currently being held. He said ministers can intervene and have 72 hours to question where a prisoner is held.
Sturgeon responded that he hoped that, before the 72-hour period was up, the prisoner would no longer be in the women’s prison.
The UK government is discussing a reform of its policy on incarcerating transgender prisoners.
The reform provides that transgender prisoners with male private parts, or those convicted of sex crimes, will not be held in women’s prisons, except in “truly exceptional” cases.
Bryson, 31, told the court he knew he was transgender at the age of four but decided to transition at age 29. She is taking hormones and intends to have surgery to change her sex.
During the trial, Bryson’s lawyer said that she is “vulnerable” and is not a “male predator”.
In pre-recorded testimony presented to jurors, one of the victims says she was raped in a Glasgow apartment on June 27, 2019.
Bryson told jurors the two talked about “sexuality issues” after meeting on social media.
The two were alone together in an apartment. The victim says she felt “crushed” when the attacker she knew as Adam raped her.
She stated: “I told him to stop and he didn’t stop. He continued. That’s when I closed my eyes and let him do what he wanted to do.”
Bryson has denied this accusation. She said: “I would never do that. I would never harm any woman.”
This text was published in: https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/internacional-64415606