Update on the Shauna Taylor/Ontario Review Board case

March 14, 2009

Further to my post earlier this week (Convicted rapist wants state to fund transitioninglink here), I’ve just been reading an update on the canada.com website (link here). The usual caveats about cissexist misgendering by the media apply.

Paying for a sex change assessment for a convicted rapist living in a maximum-security psychiatric facility is not the responsibility of the Ministry of the Attorney General, an Ontario judge ruled Friday.

The Ontario Review Board, the agency that oversees individuals found not criminally responsible, does not have the authority to order the ministry to pay $15,000 for Shauna Taylor to be assessed for his candidacy for a sex change, the court found.

Still Taylor, who legally changed his name from Vance Egglestone, will undergo an assessment and the review board will likely pay through funds provided by the Ministry of Health, said Taylor’s lawyer Michael Davies.

“There is a bit of a shell game going on between the different departments of the government,” said Davies.

[…]

In 2007, lawyers for Attorney General Chris Bentley went to court arguing the review board exceeded its jurisdiction when it ordered Taylor, 53, to be assessed, and directed the attorney general to pay for it.

The case was settled last August when an Ontario Superior court quashed both orders, ruling the board acted outside its authority.

Only weeks later, the review board appointed an expert to offer his opinion on whether surgical intervention or sex reassignment surgery is necessary or advisable for Taylor’s health and welfare.

This time, the attorney general wasn’t contesting the assessment order, only who should pay for it, said Davies.

“The attorney general said the board should pay and the board said the attorney general should pay,” he said, noting up until now the question of who should pay for review board-ordered medical assessments has been “up in the air.”

[…]

In addition, the Toronto Sun (link here) carries an interview with one of the rape survivors:

“When I first saw the (Toronto Sun) news article it almost sent me over the edge,” said the woman, who goes by the name of Tina because her identity was banned from publication in court.

“At this point I would volunteer to do the surgery myself and it would not cost the taxpayers a dime.”

[…]

In last week’s Sun story, Taylor apologized to his victims, saying “I’m so sorry for what I have done.”

But Tina said the apology brought her little comfort.

[…]

Tina said while officials are spending thousands in court costs to argue over how her rapist’s request for an assessment should be funded, no one has shown concern for the victims.

“This psychopath was only out a few months when he attacked me,” said Tina. “It was a conditional release. What were the conditions–‘call us if you feel the urge to rape?’ … and what was I when they released him — their f—ing test subject?”

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(Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia)

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