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As transgender rights improve, prisons struggle with tough decisions

Written by Rosie DiManno for the Toronto Star, Feb 20, 2020

Tara Pearsall is a pathological liar and repeat sexual offender who preyed on young girls via the internet.
She specialized in impersonating a paramedic, a ruse that allowed her to perform vaginal exams on witless and terribly naive young women. She has claimed variously and falsely to have been HIV positive (seeking accommodation at a specialist clinic), diabetic, and suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia, for which she’d undergone chemotherapy treatment. (Also a complete invention.)
Pearsall did all those things before she was a she, having lived an entire life as a male.
As a man — his name was Patrick Pearsall — he was placed on the Sex Offender Registry.
In 2018, upon conviction for two sexual assaults, Pearsall was given a fixed sentence of 10 years and declared a dangerous offender.
Three years earlier, Pearsall had self-identified as female. And, as an inmate, she was moved promptly to the Milton-Vanier Centre for Women. Despite the fact, as her fat custodial file showed, she’d admitted to cellmates and other individuals that she preferred being incarcerated as a woman, because that meant doing easier time, and feared being raped in a men’s institution. Despite the fact she still had male anatomy and was a proven rapist.
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