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Joseph Matthew Smith, who now goes by the name Josie Smith, is a convicted baby rapist and pedophile who has molested as many as 15 children ranging in ages one to 15. Common sense would tell you that an individual as depraved as Josie would be behind bars forever, but the Iowa Attorney General’s Office disagrees. Josie is set to be released from prison because she now “identifies” as a woman and is taking estrogen medication.
Many are horrified by this story and want answers. According to the Cherokee Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders, the recommendation for Smith’s release is due specifically to the fact that Smith is undergoing hormone replacement therapy and therefore no longer has a “male sex drive”. A director for the facility, it is much harder for the state to prove someone is at risk to reoffend once the individual significantly lowers their testosterone levels.
Smith began their prison sentence in 2014. In Nov. 2017, they came out as a transgender woman, began using female pronouns, and started undergoing hormone replacement therapy.
The spokesperson for the attorney general Lynn Hicks told the Storm Lake Times that “an offender’s hormone levels are an important part of substantiating an offender’s likelihood of recidivism.”
“We don’t believe we have evidence sufficient to prove Josie Smith has a significant chance of reoffending,” Hicks proclaimed.
Hicks said that Smith will be subject to “strict sex-offender reporting” requirements and insisted that the general public should not “overreact” to the release of Josie. She then went on to state, “She’ll be subject to supervision for the rest of her life.”
The precedent that this case sets for the future is worrisome. If one person can identify their way out of consequences for the crimes they committed, what is to stop others from following suit? Furthermore, it should be widely understood that perpetrators of sexual crimes don’t always attack their victims for sexual gratification. It is just as much about control and asserting power over someone weaker than them–this completely nullifies the attorney general’s point about Josie’s “male sex drive”.
Also, the manner in which estrogen affects the sex drive of male-to-female transsexuals is not complete chemical castration, as the attorney general apparently believes it is. While it does indeed lower the libido, it does not completely remove it. It also returns fully if Josie were to ever cease or pause medication. It’s unclear if the state will monitor Josie’s hormones after the release.
Regardless, the idea that Josie should be released from prison based on what the court sees as the low likelihood that Josie will offend again is nonsense. There still needs to be time served for the 15 victims whose lives were forever changed by this monster’s actions. It is baffling to think that Josie would be allowed to skip out on prison time simply because of a transgender status. One estrogen pill a day is excusing the justice that the victims and their families deserve.
As of now, the date of Josie’s release is not clear.