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Judge Apologizes To Inmate Seeking Sex-Change

By Dennis LaVoie, Associated Press
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FILE- In this Jan. 15, 1993 file photo, Robert Kosilek sits in Bristol County Superior Court in New Bedford, Mass., on trial for the May 1990 murder of his wife Cheryl Kosilek. Kosilek was convicted and lives in prison as Michelle, a transgender, who has sued the state for a sex-change operation. Kosilek's lawyers will argue in federal court in Boston Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011 that a recent ruling in another case supports her claim that the Department of Correction is violating her constitutional rights by denying her the surgery. (AP Photo/Lisa Bul, File)

FILE- In this Jan. 15, 1993 file photo, Robert Kosilek sits in Bristol County Superior Court in New Bedford, Mass., on trial for the May 1990 murder of his wife Cheryl Kosilek. Kosilek was convicted and lives in prison as Michelle, a transgender, who has sued the state for a sex-change operation. Kosilek’s lawyers will argue in federal court in Boston Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011 that a recent ruling in another case supports her claim that the Department of Correction is violating her constitutional rights by denying her the surgery. (AP Photo/Lisa Bul, File)

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BOSTON (AP) — A federal judge has apologized to a transgender inmate who has waited years for a ruling in a lawsuit seeking to order Massachusetts prison officials to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-change operation.

Michelle Kosilek first sued 11 years ago. Two years later, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled that Kosilek was entitled to treatment for gender-identity disorder, but stopped short of ordering surgery. Kosilek sued again in 2005, arguing that the surgery is a medical necessity.

During a hearing Thursday, Wolf said he deeply regrets that his decision has not yet been issued. He said he knows the case is “extremely important” to both Kosilek and prison officials who oppose the surgery.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports.

Kosilek, born as Robert, was convicted of killing his wife in 1990. Kosilek has received hormone treatments and lives as a woman in an all-male prison.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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