A transgender woman convicted of raping two women while still identifying as a man will not be placed in a women’s prison, following public outcry.
Isla Bryson (formerly Adam Graham) of Scotland, 31, was convicted Tuesday of raping two women in 2016 and 2019, according to BBC. While awaiting trial for the rape charges, Graham began identifying as a woman and was subsequently remanded to a women’s prison in Scotland to await sentencing in February, the outlet stated. The prison, Cornton Vale, decided to segregate Bryson from other inmates until staff could conduct a risk assessment, per Fox News. (RELATED: ‘The Darkest Day’: Scottish Parliament Passes Bill That Lets Anyone Change Their Gender With No Dysphoria Diagnosis)
The decision to place a biologically male rapist in a women’s prison set off a public and parliamentary outcry, with many pressuring Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to intervene for the safety of the other inmates. After initially announcing she would not get involved, Sturgeon said less than 24 hours later that Bryson would not serve out the rape sentence in Cornton Vale women’s jail either in the “short-term or long-term,” the Telegraph reported.
At FMQs, Nicola Sturgeon confirms Isla Bryson is not being sent to Cornton Vale pic.twitter.com/ReA1yUB2v8
— The National (@ScotNational) January 26, 2023
“Given the understandable public and parliamentary concern in this case, I can confirm to parliament that this prisoner will not be incarcerated at Cornton Vale women’s prison,” Sturgeon stated. “I am setting out very clearly that I agree with the chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland when she said, ‘I don’t see how it’s possible to have a rapist within a female prison,'” she added.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross was cynical of Sturgeon’s U-turn. “It should not have taken public disgust and a slew of negative headlines about a double rapist being sent to a women’s prison for Nicola Sturgeon to [realize] this was completely unacceptable and wrong,” he said, per BBC.
“She and her justice secretary have the power to impose a blanket ban on all rapists being sent to women’s prisons, so why is she refusing to exercise it? It suggests Nicola Sturgeon’s screeching U-turn in the Bryson case was down to fears over the political risk to herself rather than the safety risk to women prisoners,” Ross continued.
Bryson is scheduled to be moved to “a male wing of a male prison” on Thursday afternoon, BBC reported.