After several attempts by the state’s governor to intervene, an Idaho inmate convicted of child sex abuse has received sex reassignment surgery at taxpayer expense.
As we reported last year, Adree Edmo, 32, won the approval of the 9th Circuit Court of appeals to receive surgery to alter his genitalia to match his gender identity, which he perceives is female.
“She suffers every single day while they have denied this treatment to her for years and there can be no reason justifying Idaho’s continued refusal to provide her care except bias,” Lori Rifkin, Edmo’s attorney said at the time, according to Fox 13. Edmo was reportedly diagnosed with gender dysphoria and has tried to castrate himself twice.
After the ruling, Idaho Governor Brad Little, a Republican, vowed to prevent the expensive procedure from becoming a burden on taxpayers.
“We cannot divert critical public dollars away from the higher priorities of keeping the public safe and rehabilitating offenders,” Little said at the time. “The hardworking taxpayers of Idaho should not be forced to pay for a convicted sex offender’s gender reassignment surgery when it is contrary to the medical opinions of the treating physician and multiple mental health professionals.”
According to a report this week from Idaho Press, however, Gov. Little’s efforts were in vain, having reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court:
Both a federal district court and an appellate court ruled in Edmo’s favor, but Gov. Brad Little vowed repeatedly to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary, a promise he followed through on. The state had been ordered to provide surgery for Edmo by July, and as that deadline loomed, state attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court to pause that timeline so the case could be argued. In May, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to do so — all but guaranteeing the surgery would take place.
According to Deborah Ferguson, another attorney for Edmo, the inmate received the surgery on July 10. Jeff Ray, a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Correction, confirmed that Edmo is currently being held at the Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino to facilitate follow-up medical care, but will be transferred to a women’s prison in Pocatello “once it is medically appropriate to do so.”
“Edmo is serving prison time after sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy,” the Idaho Press notes, adding that Edmo’s “sentence will be satisfied in 2021.”
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