Va. transgender inmate in solitary confinement
A transgender woman convicted of drug trafficking has spent six months in solitary confinement in a Virginia jail because officials believe she would be raped by male prisoners.
Thirty-five-year-old Maria Benita Santamaria was born a man but lives as a woman. In August she pleaded guilty to trafficking 10 pounds of methamphetamine. For the past two years she has been undergoing hormone treatment in preparation for a sex change operation.
Santamaria was willing to risk being in general population but jail officials kept her out.
Now, however, she'll be moved. Earlier in December Santamaria was sentenced to nearly six years in prison. A judge ordered her sent to a federal prison that can provide transgendered treatment and counseling.
-- Associated Press
Washington Post Editors
December 31, 2009; 10:49 AM ET
Categories: Prison Beat , Virginia
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