A man who molested as many as 15 child victims has been let out and deemed no longer a threat after have a sex change operation and becoming transgender and using female pronouns.
Attorney general spokesman Lynn Hicks justified the dismissal by saying “an offender’s hormone levels are an important part of substantiating an offender’s likelihood of recidivism.”
The Iowa Attorney General’s Office is no longer seeking the commitment of a former Midwest Christian Services student convicted of myriad sex crimes because the individual now identifies as a woman.
In November, the Storm Lake Times reported that Joseph Matthew Smith, a 23-year-old convicted of molesting a fellow MCS student in 2014, was “undergoing medical treatment that is needed prior to (Smith) potentially undergoing gender reassignment surgery.”
USA Today reports a preliminary report prepared by the state’s expert, Dr. Jeffrey Davis, says Smith molested as many as 15 victims, ranging from ages 1 to 13, before being sentenced to prison in December 2015.
The report found the likelihood of re-offending within five years of release exceeded 20% because victims were of both genders, and because Smith was under age 25 and never had a long-term relationship.
“Mr. Smith has not had an intimate relationship,” the report says. “His sexual encounters appear to have primarily involved molestation, including his own molestation by multiple perpetrators, or his victimization of others.”
The report says Smith was molested repeatedly as a child in Louisiana, starting at age 7.
The report recommended Smith be confined at the Cherokee Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders (CCUSO) in Cherokee for an indefinite period. But it was premised upon Smith having the sex drive of a man.
Dr. Tracy Thomas, a forensic psychologist and former clinical director of CCUSO, said the statute that outlines civil commitment requires the state to “essentially prove an offender has a chance offending greater than 51% for the rest of his life.” That becomes harder to prove when an offender significantly lowers his testosterone levels, which has a significantly higher impact on sex drive than estrogen.
Thomas said there are no women confined at CCUSO.
“From an evaluator’s standpoint, our recommendation is based on whether someone is more than likely to re-offend,” Thomas said on Monday. “Between 5% and 15% of sex offenders re-offend, so it takes an extraordinarily high burden to prove someone has a 51% chance.”