Trans prisoner put in female prison before undergoing reassignment surgery sexually assaults four inmates

51-year-old Karen White attacked the first of the four female inmates within just a few days of arriving at the New Hall jail in Wakefield, West Yorkshire

                            Trans prisoner put in female prison before undergoing reassignment surgery sexually assaults four inmates
(Source:Getty Images)

A transgender prisoner was accused of sexually assaulting four inmates after she was sent to a women's prison in spite of her not having undergone a gender reassignment surgery. It was also alleged that the first of the four attacks happened within just a few days of 51-year-old Karen White arriving at the New Hall jail in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. White has been living as a woman for more than two years now and was allegedly seen being visibly aroused before each of the attacks at the high-security women's complex. One of the alleged victims, an inmate who had become friends with White, claimed that she could visibly see the 51-year-old's erect penis at the time she was being assaulted.

A second inmate then came forward and claimed that White made inappropriate comments about giving oral sex to another prisoner. A third inmate also came forward and said she was attacked by the trans woman and finally, a fourth inmate said that she had been kissed on the neck by White, the Daily Mail reported.

White has now been sent to a Category B men's jail in a case that is being viewed as the one to catalyze a debate over whether trans prisoners should be sent to women's prisons before they undergo gender reassignment surgery. The offenses that were committed by the trans woman are alleged to have happened between September and November 2017. She appeared in front of magistrates earlier in July and is scheduled to appear at the Leeds Crown Court in August.

White was born a male but currently identifies as female. She has been shifted to the male prison after she was accused of sexually assaulting four female inmates in the women's prison. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) guidelines say that in the "great majority" of cases involving transgender prisoners, they are allowed to "experience the system" in the gender which they are currently identifying with.

The department has also said that there are "strict safeguards" to prevent the abuse that transgender prisoners may face while they are incarcerated and attempts to go against these guidelines were very rare. Recent figures show that there were 125 transgender prisoners in England and Wales by the end of March 2017. This was an increase from just 70 in 2016.

At present, a transgender woman is only allowed to legally change their gender on their birth certificate if doctors have medically diagnosed them with gender dysphoria, and after they have lived as the other gender for two years. Judges who have to sentence trans prisoners normally use this to decide whether to send the prisoner to male or female prisons. Trans inmates will also be able to enjoy more freedom in terms of a dress code and can shower and wash their clothes in private.

After a dramatic increase in the number of trans prisoners over the past year, prison authorities immediately set about issuing new regulations regarding the way they are treated. Trans prisoners were first given the right to have gender surgery in 1999.