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Massachusetts to appeal ruling that granted sex change for convicted murderer Michelle Kosilek

BY STEVE LEBLANC, ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON -- Massachusetts will appeal a federal judge's decision to grant a convicted murderer's request for sex reassignment surgery, prison officials announced Wednesday.

The state Department of Correction said that it believes the medical care Michelle Kosilek is receiving is adequate and that the court didn't address what it says are legitimate safety concerns of protecting her in prison.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled this month that the surgery is the only adequate treatment for Kosilek's gender-identity disorder, a condition Wolf said is a "serious medical need." He said denying surgery violated Kosilek's Eighth Amendment rights. It was the first time a judge has ordered prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery to an inmate.

Kosilek, now 63, was named Robert when married to Cheryl Kosilek and was convicted of her 1990 murder. Kosilek has received hormone treatments and lives as a woman in an all-male prison.

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It was the first time a judge has ordered prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery to an inmate.

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