Transgender inmate granted parole - KCTV5

Transgender inmate granted parole

Posted: Updated:
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A transgender Virginia prisoner, seeking sex change surgery paid for by the state, has been granted parole. It's a major development happening in the middle of a controversial, landmark case.

Ophelia De'Lonta, born Michael Stokes, is being paroled after serving more than three decades behind bars for bank robbery.

Last year, a U.S. District Court judge ordered the Virginia Department of Corrections to have De'Lonta examined by a 'gender specialist'. News of her parole comes before the court gets a chance to rule whether the surgery is medically necessary.

Ophelia De'Lonta had a parole hearing back on November 18, she said in a phone interview in December. NBC12 spoke with her niece by phone on Wednesday.  

Tiffany Stokes says the family is "overjoyed because no one in the family thought they would be living, when she walked free."

Ophelia De'Lonta was granted permission to leave prison as a reward for good behavior after serving more than three decades of a 73-year prison sentence. In a recent interview, NBC12 asked her if she was angry, considering her long fight with Virginia D.O.C. for sex-reassignment surgery.
     
"Getting angry is like me drinking poison and expecting them to die...That's just negative energy that I would have to endure. So, I try not to hold on to negative energy," Ophelia said.

Recently, a U.S. District judge ordered two evaluations for surgery...one paid for by Ophelia and the other by the state. NBC12 has learned that the transgender inmate has had both and the results of those examinations are believed to sealed, right now.
     
In that phone interview, Ophelia talked about the possibility of being paroled and the impact it may have on her fight for a state-funded sex change surgery.
 
"If I'm still an inmate in the Department of Corrections, they would still have to provide that surgery," she said.

Will Ophelia De'Lonta have to pay for her own surgery on the outside? Was this a strategic move by D.O.C. to avoid a possible court ruling ordering the surgery? These are all questions we're working to get answered.
   
The state has maintained her attempts at self-castration are because of a borderline personality disorder. Meantime, Ophelia De'Lonta has been granted parole, but she's still incarcerated at Buckingham Correctional Center. Her family is working to get her connected to a support system on the outside.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 2 dead, one hurt after incident in Kensington Park in KCK

    2 dead, one hurt after incident in Kensington Park in KCK

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 10:05 PM EDT2017-09-21 02:05:16 GMT
    (KCTV5)(KCTV5)

    Two people were found dead in the parking lot of Kensington Park in KCK. 

    More >

    Two people were found dead in the parking lot of Kensington Park in KCK. 

    More >
  • Young girl hospitalized by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium

    Young girl hospitalized by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium

    Thursday, September 21 2017 3:14 PM EDT2017-09-21 19:14:05 GMT

    A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during a game against Minnesota, leading some New York players to call for protective netting to be extended.

    More >

    A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during a game against Minnesota, leading some New York players to call for protective netting to be extended.

    More >
  • Man shot, hospitalized when sale goes bad in Shawnee

    Man shot, hospitalized when sale goes bad in Shawnee

    Thursday, September 21 2017 6:50 AM EDT2017-09-21 10:50:23 GMT
    It happened about 12:30 a.m. at the Arbor Square Apartments, located at 7613 Flint Street. (KCTV5)It happened about 12:30 a.m. at the Arbor Square Apartments, located at 7613 Flint Street. (KCTV5)

    A man was rushed to the hospital after attempting to sell an item went wrong early Thursday morning. It happened before 2:55 a.m. at the Arbor Square Apartments, located at 7613 Flint Street.

    More >

    A man was rushed to the hospital after attempting to sell an item went wrong early Thursday morning. It happened before 2:55 a.m. at the Arbor Square Apartments, located at 7613 Flint Street.

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.