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Convicted Killer Demands State Pay for His 'Sex-change' Operation

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 7th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Michelle Kosilek - born Robert Kosilek, is an imprisoned murderer convicted in the murder of his wife. The 57-year-old transgendered person is incarcerated in a Massachusetts prison. He is now fighting to have a sex-change operation.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kosilek says he wants the state Department of Correction to pay for a sex change operation.

One Massachusetts hospital is considering hosting Kosilek's taxpayer-funded surgery, while six doctors have expressed interest in performing it. The state Department of Correction still needs to find a doctor who can obtain a Massachusetts medical license and malpractice insurance.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf last September ordered prison officials to provide this surgery for the transgender inmate, saying the surgery is the "only adequate treatment" for what the Judge referred to as Kosilek's gender identity disorder.

Kosilek was found guilty of first-degree murder in the strangulation death of his wife Cheryl in 1990. He later dumped her body in a car in a mall parking lot.

The killer then legally changed her name to Michelle. He is currently pretending to live as a woman-  and receiving hormone treatments - in an all-male prison.

Correction Commissioner Luis S. Spencer said in a court document that the department is willing to send the woman out of state if her surgery can't be completed in Massachusetts. She wants the surgery to take place in Massachusetts.

"The safety and security and logistical issues relative to the transportation and housing of Kosilek pre and post-surgery and during recuperation, if the (surgery) takes place out of state, would be significant," Spencer wrote in an affidavit.

Kosilek still has a long way to go before the surgery can take place. The response from the Massachusetts hospital was tentative.

The surgeon that performs the procedure needs to be granted malpractice insurance as well as a license to practice in the state. Of the six who have agreed to conduct the surgery, five are willing to come to Massachusetts. The licensing process could take up to six months, according to newspaper accounts.

Judge Wolf said in his ruling last year refusing to provide the surgery would be a violation of Kosilek's constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment. Gender reassignment surgery is recognized as a medically sound treatment for gender identity disorder.

The state has appealed Wolf's decision. A hearing is scheduled for next month. State officials say that a sex change would turn Kosilek into a target for sexual assault by other inmates.

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