Paroled! Lambda Legal Client Passion Star to Be Released After Years of Abuse

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December 6, 2016
Self-portrait by Passion Star

Lambda Legal client Passion Star has been granted parole from Telford State Prison in Texas, 14 years after entering the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) system and suffering horrific abuse as a transgender woman incarcerated in male prisons.

Her exact release date is still pending.

Passion’s experience in custody has been punctuated by acts of interpersonal and institutional violence.

Throughout her sentence, she has remained resilient. She will leave Telford as a powerful advocate against sexual violence and assault in prisons.

Her story is not one of a victim bent and broken by a faulty system, but of a fighter who braved incredible odds to see justice done.

In October 2014, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Star. Since entering TDCJ custody in 2002, Star has been raped and beaten, including a razor attack when her face was slashed multiple times by a man who told her that he “owned” her.

After years of abuse, TDCJ officials finally agreed to place Star in safekeeping in March 2015, only after Lambda Legal filed an emergency motion for her protection.

Lambda Legal will continue its “Stop Prison Rape” campaign. Find out how you can encourage Texas’s leadership to work more actively to end sexual assault and violence in Texas prisons here.