When 29-year-old Tiana Miller, formerly known as Tavoy Malcolm, was charged with wire and bank fraud in 2017, she was sent away to the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center. Despite identifying herself as a woman, Malcolm was locked up with male inmates because she is transgender. During her time in the Brooklyn jail, she said she was raped repeatedly by two men because she was locked with men when she should have been put away with women like her.
Malcolm, along with co-conspirator Lorindo Powell, was charged for having “scammed elderly women out of $600,000.” She was remanded to the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center. She asked to be held among women, but her request was denied. At the time of her detention, she was in the process of undergoing a sex change.
Federal authorities ignored Malcom’s gender identity and threw her into a cell with rapists who attacked her repeatedly. She was abused by these men again and again over the course of two months.
Now Malcolm, who is a Jamaican national, is suing the United States government for ignoring her gender identity.
The scam that landed Malcolm in jail targeted elderly women. Malcolm targeted an elderly couple from Maryland as well as a 91-year-old woman during the final four months of her life, and a 77-year-old woman who wound up losing her house because of all the money that Malcolm and her co-conspirator took from her.
Powell pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to fifty-one months behind bars. He must also pay $770,632.50.
Malcolm also pleaded guilty in August 2017 and was sent to prison to await her sentencing. During that wait, she was put in a cell with male rapists who repeatedly beat her and raped her.
Despite her hormone therapy and breast augmentation treatments, federal authorities housed her with men who were intent on sexually abusing her.
She first came forward with her accusations against the United States federal government in an interview with The STAR of Jamaica, where she revealed the gruesome details of her experience in the American jail.
“I served the first five months of my sentence on the ‘male’ side because they needed some form of classification as it relates to my gender, although my documents state that I am a female,” Malcolm told The STAR last year.
She added, “I was sexually assaulted by other inmates … it was very difficult. They didn’t move me over to the female side when the abuse initially happened, but they did when the guys had started fighting over me and after my lawyer got involved.”
Malcolm details her issues in the lawsuit. Even after she was eventually moved in with other women, male correctional officers continued to harass her because she was a transgender woman.
“Only after the plaintiff was assaulted and then raped did BOP (Bureau of Prisons) transfer the plaintiff to a female housing unit,” the lawsuit said. “Even after her transfer, plaintiff continued to be subjected to harassment and intimidation by BOP correction officers.”
Do you think the transgender woman should have been housed in a male prison?
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