Taxpayers must fund wife-killer's legal battle as well as sex change, says judge

Michelle Kosilek and U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf.

Michelle Kosilek and U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf.  (AP/United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts)

The Massachusetts wife killer who convinced a federal judge that taxpayers should fund his sex change is entitled to dip into the public accounts for legal fees as well, the Boston Herald reported.

Michelle Lynne Kosilek, who was born Robert Kosilek, lives as a woman at the all-male MCI-Norfolk state prison, where Kosilek is serving life for the 1990 strangling of his wife, Cheryl Kosilek. Hormone treatments have enabled him to develop breasts.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mark Wolf ruled on Sept. 4 that Kosilek suffers from gender-identity disorder and is entitled to have the sex change. But the judge's latest ruling goes even farther, stating that the taxpayers also have to foot the bill for the legal battle that Kosilek eventually won. Lawyers will submit their bill to the court on Thursday, according to the Herald.

“Kosilek has prevailed on his claim that (the Department of Correction) has violated his Eighth Amendment rights (against cruel and unusual punishment) and is continuing to do so,” Wolf wrote. “Therefore, he is eligible to be awarded his reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.”

Diane Wiffin, spokeswoman for the state Department of Correction, told the Herald, “We can’t comment. We have to review the decision.”

Wolf gave the Department of Correction until Oct. 9 to decide whether to appeal his initial decision that Kosilek suffers from gender identity disorder and is “a man who truly believes that he is a female cruelly trapped in a male body.”

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