Transgender Inmate In Women's Prison Charged With Sexual Assault

A transgender inmate has been sentenced to seven years in prison for raping a woman while incarcerated in the women’s section of the Rikers Island jail.

Ramel Blount, who also goes by Diamond Blount, approached a 33-year-old woman exiting the shower, held her down by her neck and raped her Feb. 8, 2021, according to investigators. Blount pled guilty to attempted rape April 7 and must register as a sex offender and undergo eight years of post-release supervision once the sentence has been completed.

“Sexual violence against anyone is unacceptable,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said.

New York City allows transgender inmates to choose where they are held based on gender identity rather than biological sex, meaning that a male who identifies as a woman can be held in a women’s prison.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul directed the state’s Department of Correctional Services and Supervision to implement a similar policy in January, however the policy will need to be passed by state lawmakers before it goes into effect.

The state’s prison system considers transgender inmates’ requests to be transferred to women’s prisons on an individual basis and does not make these decisions based solely on external genital anatomy, according to a 2019 directive.

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