Transgender woman lodged in all-male halfway house sues Dismas over rape
Latoya Mayberry asked to be transferred to a different facility but, according to the lawsuit, the director wrote his own letter arguing the transfer was not "necessary or warranted."
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A transgender woman assigned to an all-male halfway house has filed a lawsuit after she says she was raped.
Her lawyer is calling for drastic changes at the Louisville facility that's supposed to keep former inmates now on parole safe.
Typically, we don't identify rape victims but in this case Latoya Mayberry asked to share her story.
"I told them I didn't feel safe from the first time I was there and nothing was done and I ended up getting raped," She said.
Mayberry, who has identified as a woman since 2006, says her sexual assault in June at St. Ann's run by Dismas charities could have been prevented.
Upon her release from prison, she was assigned to the all-male halfway house, assigned to sleep in an area surrounded by the beds of five other men.
"Her complaints, unfortunately, fell on deaf ears," her lawyer, Dan Canon, said.
Mayberry asked the Kentucky Department of Corrections to transfer her to a different facility. But, according to the lawsuit, the director of St. Ann's wrote his own letter arguing the transfer was not "necessary or warranted."
The request was denied.
"About a week or two later, after I was denied, I ended up getting raped and I reported it," Mayberry said. "I felt like I could be killed."
The lawsuit alleges the halfway house's director, Mark Meredith, said he didn't believe Mayberry was raped and accused her of trying to "manipulate the system."
But she was eventually taken to U of L hospital and treated. Her attacker was charged and prosecuted. And Mayberry was finally transferred to another halfway house.
"That security was woefully inadequate, the training in that facility was woefully inadequate and the inmates were not safe," Canon said.
Mayberry is seeking unspecified damages. Her lawyer wants to ensure what happened at St. Ann's never happens again.
"My client has stayed in other halfway houses without incident and she's been in prisons without incident," said Canon. "Ensuring the safety of facilities for other trans individuals is something that has got to be made a priority."
We reached out to Dismas Charities. The Director of St. Ann's, Mark Meredith, told WDRB he had "no comment" as of this publishing.
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