From: Douglas.Case@sdsu.edu (Douglas Case)
Subject: San Diego Transexual Jail Rape Case
Date: 23 Jan 1995 18:05:57 GMT
> From: Douglas.Case@sdsu.edu (Douglas Case)
> Newsgroups: alt.politics.homosexuality,soc.motts,bit.listserv.gaynet
> Subject: San Diego Transexual Jail Rape Case
> Date: 23 Jan 1995 17:49:18 GMT
> Organization: San Diego State University
> Retrial Set for Transexual Jail Rape Case
> by Mark Gabrish Conlan, GLAAD/San Diego
> 619/688-0094 E:Mail email@example.com
> [Permission granted to reprint with attribution]
> For Susan Davis, a pre-operative transsexual living in the South Park
> neighborhood of San Diego, the horror began on October 2, 1992. Arrested for
> prostitution by a San Diego vice-squad officer who answered a personal ad,
> she was take to the city's new privately-operated "state-of-the-art" jail in
> Otay Mesa run by Wackenhut Corporation, a Florida-based private concern which
> operates prisons throughout the southern states and South America.
> "They locked me in with other new prisoners," Davis recalled in an interview
> with Mark Gabrish Conlan for GLAAD/San Diego. "I was in a skirt and blouse
> that showed my breasts. I couldn't even go to the bathroom because there was
> no privacy. Eventually, I was taken for mug shots and fingerprints, and was
> asked out loud, three times, whether I was homosexual, heterosexual or
> bisexual. I said I was transsexual, and was never asked if I was
> pre-operative or post-operative. The guard yelled out my answer every time I
> gave it, so everyone in the area could hear."
> Standard practice in San Diego County prisons is to segregate transgender
> prisoners by sex according to whether they are pre-operative or
> post-operative. But the county's publicly-run jails run by the county
> Sheriff's Department, also segregate pre-op transsexuals and effeminate gay
> men to protect them from homophobic fellow prisoners.
> Wackenhut, according to Davis, made no special provisions for transsexual
> prisoners. "They took me to the changing room and forced me to undress in
> front of five males. One of the guards said, 'God, you've got bigger tits
> than my mama's.' They dressed me in prison coveralls without any underwear
> and assigned me to a cell with another transsexual named Jessica. Later I
> had to undress again, also in front of other prisoners, to put on underwear."
> While Davis attempted to use the jail phone, Davis recounts, "a guy came up
> to me..., called me a 'punk' and said 'You ain't using shit.' I tried to use
> the phone again and another prisoner came up to me and punched me in the
> shoulder. He said 'We don't allow sissies to use the phone. We might get
> AIDS.'" When she complained to a guard, says Davis, "he turned around and
> walked away from me."
> But things would get worse. While lying on a cot in her cell, Davis felt
> someone grabbing her ankle. "I remember these three guys pulling me to my
> knees, and three more standing in front of the cell. They dragged me over to
> the toilet...I remember them, one on each side and one behind me. One had
> hold of my hair, and they were forcing my head and neck in the toilet. They
> had my arms pinned behind me, and they hit me in the back and across the
> breast. They pulled the prison jump suit down to my knees, and the one behind
> me penetrated me. I don't know how long it went on. It seemed like
> Davis recalled that her assailants flushed the toilet two or three times
> during the rape, and spoke in both Spanish and English. One of them said, in
> English, 'Go to the guards, and they won't give a shit. We'll know if you
> report this.' As a final gesture, one of them kicked me in the belly, which
> was the hardest blow. I just fell to the floor. I don't know how long I laid
> there. I just knew I had to get myself cleaned up and I had to get to the
> Eventually Davis was able to place collect calls to a niece and a friend, but
> was unable to press charges against her alleged assailants because of
> runarounds she was put through by both police and medical authorities after
> her release. Though an examination by her personal doctor revealed tears in
> her anus that corroborated her story of forced penetration, she was unable to
> document the rape soon enough after it occured to press criminal charges.
> Meanwhile, Davis has dealt with major depression, and is now under continuing
> treatment by openly gay psychotherapist John McConnell. Since she couldn't
> find a support group that was available free of charge, she's starting one of
> her own for rape victims in similar situations. "A lot of my old friends
> just don't want to be around me anymore because they look at me as something
> 'wrong.' Two friends told me they could feel my pain too much, and that's
> why they didn't want to see me anymore."
> Despite the intense trauma Davis has taken the bold step of filing a suit
> against Wackenhut and the city of San Diego. "The more witnesses I talk to,
> the more I believe the guards deliberately set me up to be raped. One
> prisoner saw me get hit, another heard me crying and screaming, and a third
> prisoner said he'd witnessed it. They may have known within a few minutes
> what had happened to me--and they did nothing about it. The fact that my
> sister called the nurse should have made them examine me [for evidence of
> rape]. They didn't. I think they put a dollar sign over my life."
> Going to court proved to be yet another trauma. In telling the story on the
> witness stand, Davis broke down and fainted just before describing the actual
> rape. Her attorney, Jeffrey Schwartz, said she had suffered a panic attack,
> her doctors said she was medically unable to return to the stand, and Judge
> Jeffrey Miller then declared a mistrial. A new trial has been scheduled for
> June 30, and Schwartz has waived a trial by jury.
> Davis recalls being cross-examined by attorneys for Wackenhut. "Their expert
> psychiatrist asked the most amazing questions: if I were a lesbian, what
> kinds of sex I engaged in and if my doctors were all gay....I fell like I'd
> fallen into the pit with the Ku Klux Klan. They've tried to make this into a
> prostitution case, a bondage-and-discipline case, a lesbian case. Because
> [her transsexual friend Jeri] and I 'adopted' each other, since she's a
> post-operative transsexual, they've tried to make it look like we're lesbian
> lovers. I can't see where that, or my past lifestyle, or whether my father
> or mom beat me as a little girl, have anything to do with this case. But
> I've had to turn my life to them because they fell they need to know."
> Davis said one thing she's grateful for is the support of the community
> in her legal effort. GLAAD/San Diego is working with other community groups
> to promote a benefit to help defray some of Davis' legal expenses, and Davis
> [and GLAAD] hope that her case will increase awareness of how homophobia
> affects not only lesbians and gays, but transsexuals as well.
> "Taxpayers need to know where their tax dollars are going and what they are
> going for," Davis said. "The next time, it may be their sons or daughters.
> The police never asked me what I was. I could have been a 'masculine'
> female. They just assumed. People need to know these things happen, because
> the next time it might be someone they love."
> GLAAD/San Diego urges San Diego media outlets to continue their coverage of
> this story as it unfolds. GLAAD also urges concerned members of the
> community to express their concerns about the need to protect ALL
> prisoners, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, to
> Wackenhut Corporation, Public Relations Dept., 1500 San Remo Avenue, Coral
> Gables, FL 33146-3036 [phone: 305-666-5656].
Return to Gay:Stories:Homophobia
The Bibble Pages, Christian Molick,