A transgender woman sues the Georgia Georgia Correctional Office for sexually abusive allegations by detainees and staff

Ashley Diamond on Monday filed a lawsuit against several employees of the Georgia Georgia Department of Corrections and its facilities, accusing the defendants of denying treatment deemed medically necessary and placing him in a man’s prison despite being aware that it poses an increased risk. for your safety. Because of his apartment, according to the lawsuit, Diamond has been the victim of violent yet predictable sexual violence on several occasions.

“Being a woman in a male prison is a nightmare,” Diamond said in a press release Monday. “My identity has been broken. I never feel safe. Never. I experience sexual harassment every day, and fear of sexual violence is always a threatening thought. I am bringing this lawsuit to change my name to create a community that deserves the simple existence of inherent dignity. . “

CNN contacted Diamond.

When CNN contacted the GDC for a statement, it said it had not received a copy of the lawsuit and would not comment on any pending lawsuit.

Alleged sexual abuse of detainees and staff

In the 12 months he has been in custody since 2019, Diamond has been abused 14 times, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Constitutional Law Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Ms. Diamond has repeatedly notified GDC officials … of her sexual assault and asked to be transferred to a safer facility. Instead of complying with her urgent requests for safe housing, GDC officials instructed Ms. Diamond to “keep his booty” and “be.” ready to fight “” according to the lawsuit. ”It was also openly acknowledged that the GDC was unable to keep Ms. Diamond safe while she remained a transgender woman housed in male facilities. “

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According to the lawsuit, Diamond is housed in a cell that does not lock to prevent intruders and describes a number of abuses that took place during his time in GDC custody, including one in which a detainee hid in a utility cabinet to attack him. a correctional officer allegedly admitted to being warned that the detained man was hiding there before the attack, the lawsuit said. Some of the sexual assaults Diamond experienced were wounded and bleeding.

On another occasion, Diamond and three other transgender prisoners approached the same officer to report that gang members were threatening to kill Diamond, but their concerns were documented.

Three times during the year, Diamond suspected that he had been abused by employees, including an employee who allegedly locked him in a room twice and allegedly sexually harassed him for hours.

“Cruel and unusual punishment”

This is not the first time Diamond has expressed concern that the GDC treats her as a transgender woman.

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“The abuse and neglect suffered by Ms. Diamond is all the more blatant because the defendants deliberately disregarded a preliminary court finding that the same conduct, which the defendants repeated, constituted a cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, and the clearly established violation of constitutional rights. “

Diamond filed his first lawsuit against the class in 2015 while incarcerated. The case was finally settled, but during the court proceedings, the court ruled it was unconstitutional if the department did not defend it.

In addition, the decision found that it was medically necessary for the department to continue diamond hormone therapy to treat sexual dysphoria, a condition recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. The decision changed transgender medical policy in the GDC, the lawsuit said.
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Diamond was later released in 2015 and returned to the correctional department in 2019 for a “technical conditional conditional violation”.

Despite a GDC psychologist concluding that refusing her treatments would jeopardize Diamond’s physical and psychological well-being, they once again refused hormone therapy, which resulted in anxiety, self-harm, castration attempts and suicide attempts, the lawsuit claims.

According to his lawyers, Diamond has been undergoing hormone therapy for 17 years.

According to the document, Diamond’s suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and experiences of sexual assault resulted in PTSD.

“Being in prison and being brutally raped seven times I suffered mental wounds,” he said. “The fabric of trust in the authorities has been broken, especially for those who have been appointed by the state as my carers,” Diamond’s lawyers said in a statement.

The lawsuit demands nominal, damages and punitive damages against the defendants. A year later, a record number of transgender and inappropriate people were killed in the United States, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

“I hope the future will be brighter for people like me,” Diamond said in the statement. “I hope this lawsuit will change the treatment of transgender people in Georgia forever. This fight is not only my fight, but our fight as well.”

JNiel Lynch of CNN contributed to the report.