A female inmate at the Central California Facility for Women has come forward with a sworn declaration of having been eyewitness to the aftermath of an alleged sexual assault that took place within the institution.
Incarcerated woman Mimi Le has provided a sworn declaration to lawyers at the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) to be included in WoLF’s case against the State of California. The evidence was given exclusively to Reduxx for review in advance of WoLF’s latest filing.
According to Le’s statement, she was one of many eyewitness to the events surrounding what was described as a “sexual assault” committed by a trans-identified male against a female inmate.
Le explains that on May 19, a female inmate was taken to a medical-administrative building in the facility by staff after other female inmates reported that she had been raped. Le describes personally witnessing the woman as being “barely conscious,” and that less than one hour later, she was taken out of her cell on a stretcher under a Code 3 medical alert – one that signifies an inmate is unresponsive and unable to be revived using immediate methods.
The next day, Le says she was told by multiple inmates that the woman had been sexually assaulted by Jonathan Roberston, also known as Siyaah Skylit. Robertson was previously the subject of widespread trans activist campaigns attempting to relocate him from a male facility to the women’s institution he is now in. In 2021, Pink News boosted a petition demanding to have Roberston freed from prison.
In her testimony, Le goes on to state that as a representative of the Inmates Advisory Council, she attempted to establish contact with correctional staff in an attempt to clarify details about the alleged assault. While walking to the administrative program building, she witnessed Robertston being taken in handcuffs, and learned quickly that it was because he had launched into a violent tirade against the women.
Robertson is said to have spit at some female inmates, and multiple inmates have confirmed he shouted: “F*ck all you b*tches. I’ll rape you. I’ll rape your mama. I’ll f*ck all you b*tches up… There is nothing you b*tches can do.”
Le describes the fear and upset that quickly spread through the women after the man’s threat, and how she attempted to calm the other inmates down.
“This was very triggering and saddening for everybody. To be threatened by a man with doing a thing that he can do, that he is capable of doing, that he may already have done to other women, is terrifying,” Le writes in her declaration, “They were concerned and discussed how to protect themselves; I convinced them to just go to their rooms while I asked for an update from the Captain to figure out how to proceed.”
Le says that she approached correctional staff to understand what would be done about Robertson’s threats and behavior towards the women.
“By that time [he] had already been released back onto the yard… [but] once the Captain learned of the rape threats, he decided along with the Sergeant to move [him] to administrative segregation. [But] before they could do that, the Warden overruled them, saying that an inmate-to-inmate threat is not an offense sufficient.”
Two days later, Le says she and a number of other female inmates were told they had been placed on what is known as a ‘confidential’ — a list of inmates whose immediate safety was threatened as a result of the incident.
“Men … get to transfer to women’s prison because the prison fails to keep them safe from rape by other men in men’s prison … But now the prison is protecting [them] by getting [them] out of the men’s prison only to let [them] terrorize women with rape and violence threats,” Le wrote in her statement.
Disturbingly, just after the rape threats were issued, Robertson was quickly and quietly moved to the California Institution for Women — a lower security women’s correctional facility in the state.
Speaking to Reduxx on Le’s testimony, WoLF Executive Director Mahri Irvine expressed disappointment at the lack of protections incarcerated women are being afforded since SB-132 came into effect.
“We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the reported rape at CCWF and by the reported actions of prison administrators, who have obviously failed in their duties to protect female inmates.”
Irvine’s team at WoLF launched a lawsuit against the state of California in 2021, representing four female inmates who all stated they had been victimized by trans-identified male transfers. The named plaintiffs in the case are Janine Chandler, Krystal Gonzales, Tomiekia Johnson, and Nadia Romero. Romero and Chandler are both opposing the law on the premise of religious objection, one of the women being a devout Muslim.
Johnson, a survivor of domestic violence who was imprisoned after murdering her abuser, says she had been placed in a cell with a “vicious, dangerous biological male inmate.” But perhaps most shockingly, plaintiff Gonzales describes that she had been sexually assaulted by a male inmate who had been transferred to her facility after SB-132 was introduced.
Irvine says WoLF has been sounding the alarm about how vulnerable incarcerated women are, continuing: “As the months pass by, more and more sexual assaults are being reported in prisons across the country — predatory male inmates are targeting vulnerable women, and women’s fears are disregarded by prison officials.”
According to Irvine, prison administrators in California are routinely failing to prevent sexual violence in prison, and also failing to implement trauma-informed responses to sexual assault reports.
“How many more rapes must these women endure before prison administrators and state legislators will be held accountable for their abject failure to protect female inmates from predatory men?”
While trans activists often claim that trans-identified males are particularly vulnerable in the prison system, records consistently show they are disproportionately represented amongst those convicted of sexual crimes.
According to the Bureau of Prisons, almost 50% of trans-identified male inmates have been convicted of a sexual offense. This is compared to just 11% of the non-trans-identified male inmate population.
In California’s prisons, 33.8% of trans-identified male inmates are registered sex offenders, with the Bureau of Prisons confirming that the incarcerated sex offender population is responsible for up to 50% of rapes that occur within the prison system.
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