“Michelle” Kosilek, born Robert Kosilek, strangled his wife, Cheryl, to death in Mansfield during 1990. Today, a federal judge ordered prison officials to provide Michelle with sex-change surgery and treatments.
In 1990 Robert dumped his wife's body in a car at the Emerald Square Mall at North Attleborough and fled to New York State where he was eventually arrested and charged with her murder, according to an AP report.
Kosilek was convicted of first degree murder in January 1993 and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. That year, Robert changed his name to Michelle and decided he was a woman.
Tuesday, a federal court judge ordered Massachusetts prison officials to provide “sex-reassignment surgery” for the transsexual prison inmate convicted of murdering his wife, according to the Boston Herald.
US District Court Chief Judge Mark Wolf ruled that taxpayers must pay for the treatment because it is “the only adequate care for his serious mental illness, gender identity disorder.”
“This fact that sex reassignment surgery is for some people medically necessary has recently become more widely recognized,” Wolf wrote in a landmark, 129-page ruling issued today.
The convicted murderer sued the Department of Correction in 2000, arguing that not paying for for a sex-change violates her Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.
Today, Department of Correction spokeswoman Diane Wiffin said, “We are reviewing the decision and exploring our appellate options.’’
Attorney Joseph L. Sulman, who took Kosilek’s case for free, said Tuesday that he expects the department will “promptly arrange for Michelle Kosilek to receive her treatment.”
“The law has always been in our favor, and we thought once the law was applied to the facts, the judge really only could reach one conclusion,” Sulman said.