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Sex-change inmate wants to re-start lawsuit

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UNDATED (WSAU) A state prisoner who’s taking hormone treatments to become a woman claims she was coerced into a settlement of her lawsuit that sought a tax-funded sex change. Donna Dawn Konitzer – formerly known as Scott Konitzer – has asked a judge for permission to continue the lawsuit. But state officials say they’ve started following the terms of the settlement, and they’ll fight any effort to re-open the case.

The 45-year-old Konitzer is serving time in a men’s prison at Portage for armed robbery, and she’s not eligible for parole until 2026. She suffers from gender identity disorder, and claims to be a woman stuck in a man’s body. The settlement lets her wear women’s underwear, gives her a private toilet and shower, forgives legal fees, and gives her medicine to keep from going bald. It also stops opposing the use of her female name.

The settlement came after Federal Judge Charles Clevert ruled in May that Konitzer’s suit should go to trial. He said a jury could find that prison officials were indifferent to a serious medical need. Clevert also threw out a state law that banned tax dollars for Konitzer’s hormone treatments as well as a possible sex change operation. The state has appealed that ruling.

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