Transgender Inmate Case In Federal Court

Ophelia De'lonta

Roanoke, VA - An inmate living as a woman in a man's prison is asking a federal judge to allow a medical evaluation that could lead to that inmate receiving a sex change operation.

Lawyers representing Ophelia De'lonta argue the federal government is violating her constitutional rights... by denying appropriate medical treatment related to her diagnosed Gender Identity Disorder.

The issue is whether or not the government is denying De'lonta proper medical care.

Her attorney says they are refusing to give the transgender inmate permission to be examined by an expert of her choice and on her dime.

This evaluation would determine whether or not it's a medical necessity to eventually get a sex change operation.

The government refused to pay for that evaluation... or even allow it.

A few years later, in 2010, De'lonta tried twice to castrate herself... something the defense offers as proof of the medical need based on her gender disorder.

The feds say she doesn't qualify because the mutilation had to do with a personality disorder.

De'lonta has been in prison more than 30-years after trying to rob a bank to pay for a sex-change operation.

The judge says he expects to rule in favor of ordering that evaluation but needed a day or two to be sure.