A female inmate at Logan Correctional Facility, Illinois’ largest women’s prison, has claimed in a lawsuit that she was raped by a transgender inmate, a biological male transferred from a men’s prison.
The woman, whose name is not revealed in the lawsuit, also alleges Illinois Department of Corrections officials covered up the rape and punished her for reporting it, claiming the rape allegation was “false.”
“The transfer of transgender inmates from male to female prisons has been a contentious policy within IDOC,” the woman’s attorneys wrote in the lawsuit. “In an attempt to justify the transfers, Defendants [Todd] Sexton, [Beatrice] Calhoun, [Brent] Keeler and currently other unknown IDOC employees covered up the sexual assault of Plaintiff and tried to falsely classify it as consensual, to keep it from being considered a PREA [Prison Rape Elimination Act] violation.” Sexton and Keeler are correctional officers at the Logan prison, while Calhoun is the warden.
Alan Mills, head of the Chicago-based Uptown People’s Law Center, confirmed to Chicago’s PBS affiliate that one of his clients, Janiah Monroe, is the defendant in the lawsuit. Monroe, a biological male who identifies as a woman, has previously filed suit to be transferred to a women’s prison.
Mills asserted that while Monroe had been accused of sexual harassment in other cases since moving to Logan in April 2019, the cases were largely without merit and in some instances driven by “transphobia.”
“Transphobia exists everywhere, both out here on the street and in prison, so it’s not surprising that there are some people who feel uncomfortable with her presence in a women’s prison,” Mills said.