Attorneys for a Georgia transgender inmate are attempting to have her moved or, at minimum, want to hear the state prison’s plan to keep her safe after she says she was again sexually assaulted while in prison custody, the Macon Telegraph reports.
In February, as an imate at the Baldwin State Prison in Milledgeville, 36-year-old Ashley Alton Diamond filed a federal lawsuit against the state Department of Corrections demanding safe housing and the hormone treatments she has been denied.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in February that Diamond, who had been receiving hormonal treatments for 17 years before being imprisoned, was denied the necessary treatments and was allegedly told by prison officials that she had lost her right to express her female identity when she was imprisoned.
The warden at the time reportedly referred to Diamond as a “he-she thing” in front of guards and inmates, and Diamond was also placed in solitary confinement as punishment for “pretending to be a woman,” the lawsuit stated.
Diamond, who has been in prison since 2012 on theft, obstruction and escape convictions in Floyd County, may be imprisoned until 2023.
This month her attorneys, as well as the lawyers representing prison officials, filed a joint status report saying that Diamond was sexually assaulted last month while being held temporarily at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville while on a trip to Augusta for a medical appointment, the Macon Telegraph reports.
Diamond accused her cellmate of assaulting her. While being driven with that same inmate to Rutledge State Prison in Columbus, Diamond claimed that the attacker threatened her, telling her not to say anything. After reporting the assault to officials in Columbus, the prisoner was placed in “segregation” until being relocated to another facility.
Diamond, however, says that the prison warden told inmates about the alleged assault, including identifying information about the alleged attacker. Diamond says that she was then called “a snitch” by other inmates who allegedly pressured and threatened her to retract the complaint, according to the news site.
“Ms. Diamond currently fears for her safety,” the report said, according to the Telegraph. “Ms. Diamond presently is afraid of leaving her dormitory, including for meals, without an escort.”
Diamond is currently still being held at the prison in Columbus.
“We are very concerned about Ms. Diamond’s current housing,” one of Diamond’s lawyers, Chinyere Ezie of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said. “We are looking to the department to see how they are going to reassure us that Ms. Diamond will be housed safely if she is still going to be housed at Columbus.”