BLACK VOICES

Black Trans Inmate Ashley Diamond Alleges New Sexual Assault

Diamond's attorney says "inactions and omissions of prison administrators" put her client in danger.

Ashley Diamond, a 36-year-old transgender black woman, has been serving time in various men's prisons for the past three years for offenses including burglary and theft. She's been denied hormone therapy, harassed and raped, and she has attempted castration and suicide, according to a lawsuit she filed in February against the Georgia Department of Corrections. But the sexual assaults have continued, according to a recent status report.  

Chinyere Ezie, a lead attorney on Diamond's case and staff attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center, explained to HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski on Monday that Diamond reports she suffered an additional sexual assault in June at a temporary jail cell in a Georgia state prison while on her way to a medical appointment. Ezie said there are "very clear" federal guidelines outlined by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) that could help protect Diamond, including rigorous screening procedures that identify transgender inmates and subsequently offer individualized housing plans. 

"Unfortunately with Ms. Diamond, that hasn't been the case, and PREA has not been implemented here," Ezie said. "And we believe that's one of the reasons why she remains so vulnerable."

Additionally, Ezie said Diamond has received threatening letters from inmates at her facility that contain details of her sexual assault complaints -- which she says is a result of her warden revealing such information. 

"We have, you know, direct substantiation of Ms. Diamond's safety concerns, and once again brought about by the inactions and omissions of prison administrators," Ezie said.

Watch the video above for more information on Diamond's case.

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