The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (“TDCJ”) announced that today it will place Lambda Legal client Passion Star in Safekeeping as had been requested in an emergency motion filed earlier this month to protect her from further sexual assault and threats to her life. Passion Star is a transgender woman currently incarcerated in a TDCJ male facility.
Late last night Lambda Legal filed an emergency motion in federal court asking that the court compel the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to place Passion Star, a transgender woman currently incarcerated in TDCJ’s male facilities, in safekeeping to protect her from further sexual assault and threats to her life.
Tyron Garner and John Geddes Lawrence were arrested the night of September 17, 1998, after police responded to a call claiming that a black man was “going crazy with a gun” in Lawrence’s apartment just outside Houston. No gun was ever found at the scene. The men were arrested, the police said, for having sex. They pled no contest to violating a Texas sodomy law, a Class C misdemeanor.
Lambda Legal launched a petition drive calling on the state of Texas and Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott to implement and abide by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), the federal law signed by former President George W. Bush to address the problem of prison rape across the country. Texas is one of only seven states that has refused to comply with PREA.
Lambda Legal today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Passion Star, a transgender woman currently in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), arguing that TCDJ officials have displayed deliberate indifference to threats of sexual assault and violence against Ms. Star in TDCJ’s male facilities.