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Transgender prisoner sues state for a second time

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A prisoner who sued for the right to have a sex-change operation now claims the state is not living up to the promises it made in settling that lawsuit.


Scott Konitzer, 48, who has changed her name to Donna, has filed a new lawsuit in federal court, accusing the state Corrections Department of falsely inducing her to settle the suit she brought in 2003. Konitzer has gender dysphoria - and as part of the settlement, she dropped her demand for a sex-change operation in exchange for continuing non-surgical therapy.

She said the state promised to consider other therapies that experts might recommend for her disorder. Konitzer says the state never intended to explore those other therapies and they've limited her previous treatments, causing her to go bald and to consider suicide.

Konitzer is serving 123 years at the state prison in Portage for multiple armed robberies and for stabbing another prisoner.

The legal actions caused legislators to pass a law banning hormone treatments and tax-funded sex-change surgeries for prisoners.

Konitzer and two other inmates sued, and a federal appeals court threw out the state law, saying it violates constitutional protections against cruel-and-unusual punishment. Corrections' officials have not commented on Konitzer's new lawsuit.