Trans­gen­der in­mate says he leaked as­sault claims

Threat­en­ing let­ter from fel­low in­mate ap­pears to im­pli­cate Rut­ledge State Prison war­den

GA Voice - - FRONT PAGE - By PA­TRICK SAUN­DERS

At­tor­neys for trans­gen­der Ge­or­gia in­mate Ash­ley Diamond say that she is re­ceiv­ing threat­en­ing letters from fel­low in­mates and that prison ad­min­is­tra­tors are the cause.

The ac­cu­sa­tion came in a July 29 court fil­ing with the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the Mid­dle Dis­trict of Ge­or­gia. In­cluded was a let­ter Diamond says she re­ceived from a fel­low in­mate urg­ing her to drop a sex­ual as­sault claim that she made against a dif­fer­ent in­mate in June.

“You act like a nigga ain’t never put dick to you be­fore,” the let­ter from the July 29 fil­ing reads. “It will be bet­ter for you to drop the shit cuz. It’s gone make yo time hard, and get you fucked up.”

The let­ter’s au­thor also ap­pears to state what Diamond’s at­tor­neys at the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter had pre­vi­ously claimed— that Rut­ledge State Prison War­den Shay Hatcher, who is a de­fen­dant in Diamond’s fed­eral law­suit against the Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions (GDC), shared in­for­ma­tion from her Prison Rape Elim­i­na­tion Act (PREA) com­plaint with other in­mates.

“And you filed the shit. Hatcher said that in G bldg,” the let­ter con­tin­ues, be­fore end­ing with, “Take good ad­vice and tell your peeps to drop it. Noth­ing hap­pened.”

The name of the in­mate who wrote the let­ter is redacted for, as the fil­ing states, “con­fi­den­tial­ity and in or­der to mit­i­gate any ad­di­tional threats Ms. Diamond may re­ceive as a re­sult of shar­ing the doc­u­ment.”

Diamond’s at­tor­neys have asked the court to call a hear­ing about this latest in­ci­dent and are wait­ing on a date to be set.

“The South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter’s ad­di­tional fil­ing in Ash­ley Diamond’s case demon­strates that she re­mains in a dire sit­u­a­tion,” SPLC staff at­tor­ney Chinyere Ezie said in a state­ment to Ge­or­gia Voice. “She con­tin­ues to be threat­ened by other in­mates and en­dan­gered by staff. We hope the state prison of­fi­cials will help rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion or that the court will in­ter­vene. We con­tinue to be con­cerned about Ash­ley’s safety, health and well-be­ing.”

Diamond’s lawyers filed the fed­eral law­suit against the GDC in Fe­bru­ary, claim­ing that she had been de­nied med­i­cal treat­ment and had been sex­u­ally as­saulted by other in­mates at Ge­or­gia State Prison. Her hor­mone treat­ments were re­stored and GDC of­fi­cials trans­ferred her to Rut­ledge State Prison in May. But then Diamond claimed she was sex­u­ally as­saulted by an in­mate in June while in a hold­ing cell back at Ge­or­gia State Prison, a stopover on the way from Rut­ledge to a med­i­cal ap­point­ment.

Ash­ley Diamond says she re­ceived a let­ter threat­en­ing her to drop a July 5 com­plaint that she was sex­u­ally as­saulted by a fel­low in­mate. (File photo)

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