A federal court on Monday denied a request of transfer from a transgender woman incarcerated in male prisons in the state of Georgia. Ashley Diamond had alleged that she was a victim of multiple prison rapes for three years.
The 36-year-old had filed a lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDOC) alleging that she had been sexually assaulted by other inmates, threatened, and forced to pay protection money since her arrival. Her lawyers had sought a temporary restraining order for Diamond’s protection. However, the motion was denied by Judge Marc Treadwell, according to the New York Times. The judge also rejected her request for an immediate transfer from Georgia State Prison.
"The court did not issue a temporary restraining order, but we're extremely happy that the court spent a great deal of time and attention looking at the allegations, looking at the facts and trying to figure out whether our client really is safe," David Dinielli, one of Diamond’s lawyers, told a local news network. "Our focus remains on Ashley Diamond, who's making certain every day that she remains safe and gets the care that she needs."
Diamond reportedly claimed that her recent transfer to the Georgia State Prison, which holds the state’s most dangerous inmates, was in retaliation to her lawsuit. Diamond is reportedly housed in the prison’s smallest unit, which holds 11 inmates, all with individual cells. State officials claimed that it was a supported living unit for rape victims and for inmates requiring special attention, adding that they had beefed up security there over the past two weeks, according to the Times.
During her first federal appearance, Diamond blamed herself for being a victim of abuse. “If I wasn’t so feminine, maybe if I didn’t talk the way I talked or move the way I moved, I would be less of a victim that way,” Diamond reportedly said. “I also feel a little less human because when I did report things, the very people I wanted help from… would tell me things like, ‘You brought this on yourself.’”
Diamond, who was reportedly jailed for burglary, theft and escaping police custody, ended hormone therapy following her imprisonment. The corrections department has reportedly resumed the treatment. The next hearing in Diamond's case has not been scheduled, according to reports.