A wife-killer in Massachusetts who won the right to a taxpayer-funded sex change earlier this month is now eligible to have his legal fees – expected to top $500,000 – paid as well.
In a landmark decision, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ordered the state Department of Correction to provide sex-reassignment surgery to “Michelle” Kosilek, saying prison officials violated his Eighth Amendment right to protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
The judge ruled that surgery is the “only adequate treatment” for Kosilek’s gender-identity disorder.
Though he was born as Robert Kosilek, the murderer has apparently been living as a woman in prison since being convicted of killing his wife Cheryl in 1990. He has been receiving hormone treatments, psychotherapy, and electrolysis for hair removal. The final sex-change operation can cost up to $20,000.
Understandably, Cheryl’s family is outraged.
Susan Ohannessian is similarly upset, particularly because Kosilek has written a book in which he claims he does not remember strangling his wife and leaving her body in a car at the mall.
“He is going to sue the state and say ‘it wasn’t me,’” she predicted, mocking: “That was Robert Kosilek that did that…I’m a changed woman now.”
CBS has more, including interviews with the family:
Kosilek’s attorney said she has not yet done a final calculation or submitted a request for fees, but commented: “The judge has discretion to make an award on the basis of a fee application. This has been a hard litigated case, and the law firms … have spent a lot of time on the case.”
She also praised the judge’s ruling, thanking him for listening to “medical experts” who insist that transsexuals are “born and not made.”
Republican Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has spoken out against the judge’s decision.
“We have many big challenges facing us as a nation, but nowhere among those issues would I include providing sex change surgery to convicted murderers,” Brown said. “I look forward to common sense prevailing and the ruling being overturned.”
In opposing Kosilek’s request, officials have repeatedly cited security concerns, saying that allowing him to have the surgery could make him a target for sexual assaults by other inmates in the all-male prison.
Wolf, however, found that the DOC’s security concerns are “either pretextual or can be dealt with.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- Fed Judge Orders MA to Provide Taxpayer-Funded Sex Change for Transgendered Murderer
- Can You Guess What Crime This Guy Is Accused Of? Take a Look at His Face
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