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Taranaki: Trans women sent to male prison

Thu 27 Mar 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

A transgendered woman in New Plymouth who admitted to the aggravated robbery of a taxi driver has been charged and sentenced to three years and three months inside a male prison. Justine Morgan-Peka (picture: Taranaki Daily News) Justine Morgan-Peka robbed a taxi driver of $220 by spraying deodorant in his eyes, and also stole over $100 worth of items from a local supermarket by smuggling them out in her handbag, reports the Taranaki Daily News. Charged under the name Justin, she had been sentenced to two years prison in the past on a charge of injuring with intent. Morgan-Peka's lawyer Turitea Bolstad said her client would have "significant issues" to deal with in jail. She asked Judge Allan Roberts to take into account her client's personal circumstances, "because I know where Ms Morgan-Peka is going to end up". Judge Roberts acknowledged her difficult situation, saying her issues were "abundantly clear from where I sit." Claudia McKay, president of New Zealand transgender support network Agender NZ, tells GayNZ.com the decision to send Morgan-Peka to a male prison is not ideal, but is standard practise in these cases. "What it means is that she has not had surgery, so her birth certificate still says male, so that's where she goes," explains McKay. "That's the reality that happens to most transgender people - but if someone's had surgery, then they'll go to a female prison."    

Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff

First published: Thursday, 27th March 2008 - 4:44pm

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