AP Exclusive: Mass. inmate lauds sex-change ruling

September 18, 2012 - 3:35 PM
Inmate Sex Change

FILE - In this May 24, 1990 file photo, Robert Kosilek is led to the county jail following his arraignment on drunken driving charges, in New Rochelle, N.Y. Kosilek, a convicted murderer in Massachusetts who won the right to get a state-funded sex change is also eligible to have legal fees, expected to top $500,000, paid as well, a federal judge ruled. U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf earlier this month ordered the state Department of Correction to provide sex-reassignment surgery to Kosilek. Wolf found that prison officials had violated Kosilek's Eighth Amendment right to protection against cruel and unusual punishment, and that the surgery is the "only adequate treatment" for Kosilek's gender-identity disorder. Wolf has now found that Kosilek is also entitled to legal fees. (AP Photo/Frankie Ziths, File)

BOSTON (AP) — A convicted murderer in Massachusetts says a judge's decision to grant her request for sex-change surgery is "the right thing to do."

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled this month that sex-reassignment surgery is the only adequate treatment for Michelle Kosilek's gender-identity disorder, which he found was a "serious medical need."

Wolf's ruling prompted an outcry among some legislative leaders, who say Kosilek isn't entitled to the taxpayer-funded surgery.

Kosilek tells The Associated Press in a phone interview from prison that gender-identity disorder is a "valid medical condition," though she knows some don't view it that way. She says she's entitled to medical treatment, just like other inmates.

Kosilek was named Robert when married to Cheryl Kosilek. He was convicted of killing her in 1990.