Huge row erupts in Senate as Ted Cruz lambasts Biden-nominated judge who put trans child rapist in women’s prison

On Wednesday, a blazing row erupted during a Senate confirmation hearing over a Biden-nominated judge who put a 6-foot-2 transgender woman convicted of raping several children in a women’s prison.

New York Judge Sarah Netburn rejected the Bureau of Prisons’ concerns about the safety of female prisoners and moved July Justine Shelby, born William McLain, to a women’s prison in August 2022.

Shelby, 60, was previously convicted in two separate Indiana cases of child abuse of a nine-year-old boy and rape of a 17-year-old girl. He served 18 years in state prison, then violated parole and was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2017 for distributing child pornography.

During Netburn’s confirmation hearing for a federal judge position on Wednesday, Republican senators questioned her about the case.

Senator Ted Cruz blasted Netburn for being “willing to subjugate the rights of individuals to suit your political ideology,” and Louisiana Senator John Kennedy labeled her a “political activist” – charges the judge denied.

The hearing degenerated into a shouting match between senators as Cruz accused Netburn of contradicting himself, while freshman California Senator Laphonza Butler struggled to regain control of the proceedings.

“You took a 6-foot serial child molester with male genitals, and he said, ‘You know I’d like to be in a women’s prison,’ and your response was, ‘That seems great to me,'” Cruz said fervently . rant.

“Let me ask you something: Do the other women in that prison have rights? Do they have the right not to bring in a 6-foot-4 cellmate, a repeat serial rapist?”

Netburn said Shelby had “serious medical needs” and “had not committed any physical violence or any form of sexual violence” after her first 18-year prison sentence.

Court documents show that Netburn dismissed the Bureau of Prison’s concerns about the danger Shelby posed as “exaggerated” in a report she filed on August 3, 2022, in which she ordered the inmate transferred to FMC Carswell, a federal prison for women in Fort Worth, Texas.

While still going by the name William McLain, Shelby pleaded guilty to raping nine- and seventeen-year-old children in 1994.

When he was released 18 years later, he violated his parole by using the internet in his apartment, and was imprisoned again until 2015.

Court documents show that after Shelby was released at the age of 51, he began hormone therapy in August 2015 to achieve gender reassignment.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas became testy during a back-and-forth with a Biden nominee on Wednesday

Shelby is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Medical Center for Women in Carswell, Texas

Shelby is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Medical Center for Women in Carswell, Texas

But Shelby was arrested again a year later after police discovered that the rapist, who now identified himself as a woman, sent gruesome, explicit child porn images to registered sex offender Beau Thornburgh, a friend Shelby met during their 18-year stint in the Indiana State Penitentiary.

Shelby pleaded guilty to child pornography distribution and was sentenced in a federal court in Indianapolis to 15 years, beginning in New York’s Otisville FCI medium-security men’s prison.

She launched legal efforts to get out of prison that were not related to her gender, including claiming she was not given proper legal defense. They failed.

And when she claimed she was being denied her constitutional rights by being housed with men, the Bureau of Prisons denied her claims, arguing that moving her to a women’s prison would be “traumatizing and potentially dangerous” to the female inmates.

But in August 2022, Magistrate Judge Netburn dismissed these concerns.

‘There are no indications that the petitioner is at risk of recidivism. The record contains no evidence of incidents of violence or abuse during petitioner’s incarceration,” Netburn wrote.

She highlighted the testimony of Shelby, who said, “People see a 6-foot-4 tattooed inmate, I see a girl.”

The judge ruled that “a theoretical risk of sexual assault by petitioner, without more, cannot support the BOP’s position,” and ordered that Shelby be transferred to a women’s prison.

The judicial candidate, Sarah Netburn, previously signed for the transfer of a biological male child molester to a women's prison

The judicial candidate, Sarah Netburn, previously signed for the transfer of a biological male child molester to a women’s prison

A report from the group Keep Prisons Single Sex USA, based on data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, says there are about 1,980 transgender offenders in the federal system, 1,295 of whom are transgender men — half of whom were imprisoned for sex offenses.

Last year, the number of federal prisoners who identified as transgender increased by 23 percent.