April 14. 2024. 6:35

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Trans woman convicted of rape jailed for eight years in Scotland

A transgender woman, whose conviction for rape caused controversy after she was initially held in an all-female prison, was jailed for eight years by a Scottish court on Tuesday.

Isla Bryson was found guilty in January of raping two women in 2016 and 2019 when she was a man called Adam Graham, with prosecutors saying the crimes involved preying on vulnerable victims.

She was initially held at Cornton Vale women’s prison in central Scotland before the Scottish government confirmed Bryson would be moved after campaigners, politicians and a United Nations human rights expert all raised concerns about the safety of other inmates.

"It is plain that you present a particularly significant risk to any woman with whom you form a relationship," the judge, Lord Scott, said as he handed down the jail term at Edinburgh High Court.

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The row about Bryson came just weeks after the devolved Scottish parliament passed a bill to make it easier for people to change their legal gender, drawing criticism from some women’s rights campaigners who argue that predatory men could use it to access single-sex spaces such as bathrooms.

The British government has since said it will block the legal change because it would have an impact on equality matters across the rest of the country.

The issue also came to a head shortly before Nicola Sturgeon said she would step down as Scottish First Minister after almost a decade in power, saying she had become too divisive. — Reuters