Kosilek v. Spencer #justiceforcheryl @JenniferLevi1 (USA)

Robert KosilekRobert Kosilek brutally murdered his wife, Cheryl McCaul, in 1990. The details of that crime follow as reported in Kosilek’s appeal of his conviction:

The victim’s body was discovered in the back seat of her automobile in a shopping mall parking lot in North Attleborough on the evening of Sunday, May 20, 1990, after the mall had closed for the evening. She had been strangled with a rope and a wire.

A taxicab driver testified that he picked up (Kosilek) from the same mall on the afternoon of May 20 and drove him to a store located about one-half mile from the defendant’s house in Mansfield. That evening, police in North Attleborough received a telephone call from (Kosilek) stating that his wife had not come home that evening and asking whether there had been any report of an automobile accident in which she might have been involved. The police told (Kosilek) that they had located his wife’s automobile, and they asked him to come to the police station, which he agreed to do. At (Kosilek’s) request, an officer was sent to pick him up and bring him to the station. At the station, Lieutenant Michael Gould informed (Kosilek) that “a body was found in the back seat” of his wife’s automobile. Gould questioned (Kosilek) about his actions and the victim’s actions during the day. (Kosilek) stated that the victim had gone to work for part of the day and intended to stop at the mall on the way home; he also said that he had spent the day working around the house.

The following day, May 21, 1990, (Kosilek) was again asked to come to the police station to speak with Gould. During the interview, Gould advised (Kosilek) that he was a suspect and informed him of his Miranda rights. Gould told (Kosilek) that the police had spoken with the victim’s son, Timothy McCaul, who had lived with (Kosilek) and the victim. McCaul told the police that he had been working during the day of the murder, that he called home at about 5 P.M. to ask for a ride home, and that no one answered the telephone. (Kosilek) noted that Timothy often dialed wrong numbers, and he suggested that he may have been in the shower at the time of the call and failed to hear it. During this second interview with police, (Kosilek) excused himself to go downstairs for cigarettes. Once downstairs, (Kosilek) called up to the officers that he was going to get a lawyer, and left.

On May 22, 1990, shortly after midnight,  (Kosilek)  was involved in an automobile accident in Bedford. When a police officer arrived at the scene, he observed (Kosilek), dressed in women’s clothing, seated in his vehicle, which had crashed into a stop sign and some shrubs. The officer administered field sobriety tests, determined that (Kosilek) was not intoxicated, and called a taxi to drive (Kosilek) home.

Two days later, on the afternoon of May 24, 1990, police in New Rochelle, New York, stopped (Kosilek) for speeding. After the officer observed a bottle of vodka, two-thirds full, and two cans of beer in the automobile, and smelled alcohol on (Kosilek’s) breath, he arrested (Kosilek) for driving while intoxicated and brought him to the police station. At some point, (Kosilek) remarked to the arresting officer, “You would be drunk too if the police thought you killed your wife.” Later, at the New Rochelle police station, (Kosilek) stated, “Look, I had a fifteen year old son and a wife. I can’t call my wife. I murdered my wife. Now, I need to call a psychiatrist now.” (Kosilek) was taken to the psychiatric unit of a New York hospital and subsequently was brought back to Massachusetts by the Massachusetts State police.

There is no doubt that Robert Kosilek killed his wife. While incarcerated for killing his wife, he decided that he wanted sex reassignment surgery, and found support from the following organizations and individuals:

World Professional Association for Transgender Health, Mental Health America, Callen-Lorde Community, Health Center, Whitman-Walker Health, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, and Mazzoni Center, Matthew R. Segal, Joshua Block, LGBT Project, and David C. Fathi, National Prison Project, on brief for American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, Legal Aid Society, Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, and Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, Jennifer Levi and Bennett H. Klein, on brief for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Equality Maine, Human Rights Campaign, MassEquality, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and Transgender New Hampshire.

Kosilek is guilty of a crime of extreme and brutal violence against his wife. None of these organizations expressed any concern for the victim of the crime. None of these organizations stopped to consider the detrimental effect on Women if Kosilek did obtain SRS and was subsequently assigned to a Women’s prison.

Kosilek was winning his lawsuit for SRS, until the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit put the brakes on. The full panel dismissed his lawsuit as follows:

Given the positive effects of Kosilek’s current regimen of care (which includes “psychotherapy, hormones, electrolysis, and the provision of ‘female’ garb and accessories”), and the DOC’s plan to treat suicidal ideation should it arise, the DOC’s decision not to provide SRS does not illustrate severe obstinacy or disregard of Kosilek’s medical needs. Having reviewed the record before us, we conclude that Kosilek has failed, on these facts, to demonstrate an Eighth Amendment violation. Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s order of injunctive relief and remand this case to the district court with instructions to dismiss the case.

Jennifer Levi, director of the Transgender Rights Project of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), said, “I am appalled by this decision.”

We are appalled that so-called GLBT organizations prioritized the rights of a Man who murdered his wife over the right of Women inmates to be housed away from Men who murder their wives.

Ruling overturned on sex-change surgery for Michelle Kosilek – Metro – The Boston Globe

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