‘Misogyny Within Misogyny’: Female Inmate Assaulted by Trans-Identifying Man Inside Women’s Prison
A female inmate suffered serious injuries during a beating inside a women’s correctional facility after she refused to have sex with a man who identifies as a transgender woman, according to an eyewitness. The witness called the transgender-on-female assault an example of “misogyny within misogyny” from a female prison with a controversial history of housing violent men, including child molesters and one murderer who drank his victim’s blood and calls himself “Lucifer’s Maiden servant.”
After repeatedly rebuffing the man’s advances, Shakira Reed’s abrasions and contusions proved so extensive that officials at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey transported her off prison grounds to receive medical treatment. The alleged assailant, Jermain Gibson, beat her so badly that officials cleaned up her blood “everywhere.”
Gibson, who still has intact male genitalia, exposed himself to Reed, according to a report published in the website Reduxx. “Gibson continuously harassed Reed and would often speak in his man voice, because he thought it was funny when he was asked not to, because it had made the women uncomfortable,” an eyewitness said. “During the days leading up to the actual incident, he kept egging her on.”
Gibson’s pattern of sexual harassment intensified to the point that “I didn’t want to come out of my room,” Reed told Reduxx. “I faked sick, so I wouldn’t have to go to work, so I wouldn’t have to walk past him, so I wouldn’t have to hear him make remarks about my body. I started wearing large clothing to cover my body, because I was feeling so uncomfortable.”
Baggy clothing did not dissuade Gibson. The witness said Gibson hit Reed in the head to the point that he gave her a broken nose, two black eyes, and left her blood “everywhere.”
“I could hear it. I didn’t see it, but it was so loud we heard them down the wing, and this took place in the rec room. We could hear Shakira yelling, ‘Stop hitting me!’” the witness said. Prison officials stopped the attack and had Reed treated at nearby Hunterdon Medical Center before returning her to the prison’s on-site hospital unit.
“I was attacked because I didn’t want to have sex with him,” Reed said.
Officials reportedly punished both Reed and Gibson for the altercation.
“The recent events here are just unimaginable, and honestly if I wasn’t living them, I wouldn’t even believe them,” said the witness. “People need to know what this has been like for us, because no one has ever come to ask us how we feel about [men who identify as transgender women] being here.”
Christians have a duty to bring stories like Reed’s to light, said Meg Kilgannon, a senior fellow at Family Research Council. “Matthew 25:31-46 explains the necessity for spiritual and corporal works of mercy that include ministering to the imprisoned. Christians must speak for the least of these in society,” Kilgannon told The Washington Stand. “We have jails, because we need them as a society, and we have a responsibility to safeguard those we rightly put there.”
The New Jersey prison has long raised questions about whether it ignores the safety of its female inmates. Edna Mahan stoked controversy in April, when prison officials announced that Demetrius Minor, who now identifies as a woman named Demi, had impregnated two women at the facility.
These assaults were neither the first nor the last acts of misogyny committed by male inmates housed in the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women:
- Jermain Gibson robbed a Trenton convenience store on November 26, 2016. He wore a wig and thick makeup as he threatened to stab the female clerk with scissors;
- Demetrius “Demi” Minor carjacked a woman’s vehicle, holding her at gunpoint with .45 caliber Glock handgun on May 29, 2011. Minor also confessed to murdering his foster father;
- Matthew (now “Marina”) Volz and Adam (“Ashley”) Romero, both of whom identify as female, are serving time for sexually abusing and producing child pornography featuring Volz’s seven-year-old daughter; and
- Perry Cerf, who now identifies as Michelle Hel-Loki Angelina, is serving a 50-year sentence for stomping an Ecuadorian prostitute to death and consuming her blood in 2002. “Yeah, I killed her. I punched and kicked her to death, crushing her skull in the process,” wrote Perry, who then identified as a gay male, in a 2003 confession. “Let it be known: I am Lucifer's Maiden servant, sent to earth born of sin, to bring suffering and pain, darkness and evil.”
The witness to Reed’s case described the policy of housing men in women’s prisons as “obscene.”
The facility also has a history of allowing male-identified men to abuse women. The Justice Department concluded in April 2020 that the guards’ ongoing sexual abuse violated the women’s constitutional right to be free from “cruel and unusual punishments” under the Eighth Amendment.
“Edna Mahan fails to protect women prisoners from harm due to sexual abuse by staff,” it said.
California transferred at least 47 men into female prisons between and 2021 and this March, and another 35 changed their minds. State officials denied just 21 transgender transfers. So much sexual contact ensued that officers at the California Institute for Women began distributing condoms in the restrooms.
“There have been allegations of pregnancies and sexual assaults, of the introduction of condoms and other birth control and information about options in the event of pregnancy,” said Amanda Stulman, director of the U.S. chapter of the women’s rights group Keep Prisons Single Sex. “Men who have been moved under this law include murderers and sexual offenders.”
Likewise, an unnamed female inmate at Logan Correctional Center sued Illinois Board of Corrections officials, claiming they “covered up the sexual assault” of the woman by a man who identified as female “and tried to falsely classify it as consensual.”
These assaults should have been predictable, said Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.). “It doesn’t take much common sense” to “forecast that … you’re going to have rapes in your women prisons,” Steube told “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” last summer.
Rape victims who do not believe their trans-identifying rapists are really men might be branded as “bigoted people.”. “Sexual violence happens to bigoted people, as well,” said Mridul Wadhwa, a man who identifies as a woman and who leads the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre, one of Scotland’s largest rape counseling services. “But please also expect to be challenged on your prejudices.” In addition to recovering from traumatic sexual abuse, “you also have to reframe your relationship with prejudice. Otherwise, you can’t really, in my view, recover from trauma,” because “therapy is political.” Wadhwa’s words spurred “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling to open a women-only support service.
Despite a global pandemic of male inmates raping female prisoners, President Joe Biden believes men should continue being sent to women’s penitentiaries. As a candidate, Biden said, “In prison, the determination should be that your sexual identity should be defined by what you say it is, not what, in fact, the prison says it is.” The so-called Equality Act, supported by Biden and much of the Democratic Party, would codify male felon’s access to female prisoners into law.
“Taking the word of male convicted criminals that they are born in the wrong body and need to be housed with women is yet another reflection of postmodern thinking dominating common sense. All women, including incarcerated women, deserve better than Queer Theory injustice — in the classroom, in the bathroom, in the locker room, on the playing field, and in prison,” Kilgannon told TWS. “We all deserve better than that.”
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.