, Salem, MA


April 3, 2013

Appeals court hears inmate's sex change case


"She has been a model prisoner," Cohen said.

The Department of Correction had argued that prison officials were concerned about protecting Kosilek from sexual assault if she were allowed to complete her transformation into a woman.

But Cohen told the court that Kosilek has received female hormone treatments and has lived at the state prison in Norfolk for more than 20 years "without incident."

McFarland, however, cited testimony from prison officials who said they were concerned about sending Kosilek back to the male prison after surgery. He disputed Wolf's finding that the security concerns expressed by prison officials were "either pretextual or can be dealt with."

The appeals court panel took the case under advisement and is expected to rule within three months.

After the hearing, Cohen said the various treatments Kosilek has received have not been enough to ameliorate her disorder.

"I think the Eighth Amendment imposes an obligation to provide medical services," Cohen said.

She said the surgery, which can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 or more, would be paid for under a contract the Department of Corrections has with its medical provider. The contract is based on the number of inmates, not the number of medical procedures provided, so would not increase the state's costs, she said.

"There's been no showing (the surgery) would move the needle at all," she said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

Local News
  • 140721_SN_PBI_MARKETB_090 Thousands rally after 8 Market Basket execs are fired

    TEWKSBURY -- Valerie Edge has never been afraid for her job. Through the death of her father, a near-fatal crash involving her daughter, and her own lengthy illness, the five-year employee of the Epping, N.H., Market Basket said her bosses always tol

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos 1 Slideshow 4 Stories

  • 140721_SN_DLE_MARKETBASKET5 North Shore Market Basket workers, customers remain defiant

    MIDDLETON -- The Market Basket revolt continues, despite the firing of eight insurgent employees. Workers at the Middleton store on Monday were still making clear their position in favor of ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, though in some cases with ca

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos 5 Stories

  • Lindsay Obama denies religious exemption urged by Gordon College president

    WENHAM — The letter that has caused so much controversy for Gordon College has gone unheeded by President Barack Obama.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo 7 Stories

  • Tobin Bridge toll booths are history BOSTON -- The next time you drive over the Tobin Bridge on Route 1 into Boston, you won't have to fumble for your wallet or root through your purse to pay the toll. On Monday, the state Department of Transportation replaced the toll booths on the upp

    July 22, 2014

  • 140715_SN_DLE_ABBOTTHALL1 Heard Around Town: For Seth Moulton, there's no place like home Candidate for congress in the Democratic Party and Marblehead homeboy Seth Moulton might have gotten a jolt when the Democratic Town Committee recently endorsed his opponent, incumbent Rep. John Tierney of Salem. The Marine Corps and Iraq veteran is

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos