3rd-strike 'trans' rape suspect prompts rebellion against CA law after attack in women's prison

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A transgender-identified California convict with a lengthy record of criminal violence has been transferred out of a women’s correctional facility and back to a men’s prison after being indicted for rape.

Tremaine “Tremayne” Deon Carroll, 51, is an incarcerated biological male who identifies as a woman and faces two charges of forcible rape and one of “dissuading a witness from testifying” in Madera County, according to a criminal complaint first obtained by Reduxx, a feminist news and opinion website, and later reported by JustTheNews.com.

One of the alleged victims of the Jan. 30 incident is a biological female, identified as Jane Doe in court documents, who said Carroll attacked her in the shower at the Central California Women’s Facility and raped her. The complaint also mentions another unidentified victim. Carroll has since been transferred to Kern Valley State Prison, a male-only facility in Delano, online records show. 

Women’s rights activists tell Fox News Digital that Carroll, who was the public face of a campaign to support California law SB 132, which allows transgender prisoners to be housed in a facility consistent with their gender identity, is a case in point why the law harms incarcerated women.


Tremaine "Tremayne" Carroll mugshot

Tremaine “Tremayne” Deon Carroll, 51, was charged with rape in Madera County, California. A transgender person, Carroll was housed in a women’s correctional facility by request and transferred to a men’s facility following the indictment for rape. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations)

“Previous to SB 132, biological male inmates were allowed to, on a case-by-case individualized basis, be placed in women’s facilities. But not if they hadn’t had surgery, and it was always very individualized. What the bill did, what SB 132 did is it took away all of that safeguarding,” said Lauren Bone, legal director of the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF). 

WoLF is a self-described radical feminist organization that opposes policies that permit biological males in women-only spaces. The group currently represents four female inmates in a lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations (CDCR) that seeks to have SB 132, which is called the Transgender Respect, Agency, and Dignity Act, declared unconstitutional. 

“[SB 132] took away the ability to make individualized case assessments. It made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of anatomy and including things like hormones,” Bone said. “You don’t have to identify as a woman anymore. You can identify as non-binary or many other things. And so, what the results are is that there’s 50 men who are housed there. There are hundreds more on a wait list, who are still being processed. Nearly all of them have penises.”

Carroll is one of several female-identifying biological males represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, Transgender Law Center and Lambda Legal who intervened to oppose WoLF’s lawsuit in August 2023. In sworn testimony, Carroll stated, “I know what it feels like to live in fear and to carry the weight of the past abuse by men. But I am not a threat.”

Less than a year later, Carroll would be accused of rape.


A sign outside the Central California Women's Facility

This view shows the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla. (Tomas O’Valle/Fresno Bee file/Tribune News Service via Getty Images/File)

Attorneys for Carroll did not respond to a request for comment. The ACLU Foundation of Southern California, Lambda Legal and Transgender Law Center said in a joint statement that they are unable to speak about the specifics of Carroll’s criminal case and “all allegations of sexual misconduct must be investigated thoroughly and fairly.” 

“We continue to represent the intervenors – including four trans women and our partner organization TGIJP – to ensure that the voices of transgender people are heard in the case and the constitutionality of SB 132 is zealously defended,” the statement says. 

Amie Ichikawa, founder and executive director of Women II Women and a former inmate who has closely followed Carroll’s case, told Fox News Digital there is no history of Carroll identifying as any kind of LGBTQ+ person until SB 132 passed.

“This is somebody that I did keep a close eye on because of their history, their background, their habitual manipulation, frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit, constantly filing complaints against everyone. I knew this was going to be an issue,” Ichikawa said. 


Amie Ichikawa

Amie Ichikawa spoke to Fox News Digital about her experience with a transgender prisoner while at a California facility. (Independent Women’s Forum)

Court records show that Carroll’s criminal history began in 1988, when he was 15. He was charged with grand theft of property and possession of a firearm by a minor. In 1990, he committed his first- and second-strike offenses under California’s three-strike law in a crime that involved allegations of kidnapping, robbery and sexual assault. 

Carroll was charged as an adult with three counts of kidnapping for ransom, two counts of robbery, and three counts of “oral copulation in concert by force,” according to records. However, some of the counts were dismissed on technicalities and the case ended with a hung jury and mistrial. Rather than be retried, Carroll pleaded guilty to two counts of kidnapping and was sentenced to prison for 10 years and eight months. 

Carroll’s third strike came in 1998 when he was the getaway driver in a jewelry store robbery, leading to a 25-to-life sentence as a three-strike offender. While awaiting trial in 1999, sheriff’s deputies, acting on a tip from a confidential informant, found him to be in possession of a metal wire shank. He was given an additional four years to be run consecutively with his 25-to-life term. 

In prison, Carroll committed various serious rule violations between 2001 and 2015. His offenses included fighting with other inmates, refusing to obey orders, drug possession, filing a false report against a peace officer and “behavior that could lead to violence,” according to court records. He also filed various complaints alleging racial discrimination and sexual misconduct by CDCR employees. 

“Tremaine has a long history of filing lawsuits against the department, tons of lawsuits. He is constantly writing inmate complaints about everyone and anyone he can have a negative impact on,” said Ichikawa.


Senator Scott Wiener

State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat, greets the crowd during the 53rd annual San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration on June 25, 2023. Wiener sponsored SB 132, which permits transgender inmates to be housed in their preferred men’s or women’s facility.  (Getty Images)

In several complaints reported by Reduxx, Carroll uses he/him pronouns to refer to himself and does not mention his gender identity or sexuality. It wasn’t until 2021, three months after the Democrat-controlled California legislature passed SB 132, that he began to identify as a trans woman.

SB 132, introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat who represents San Francisco, requires that incarcerated transgender people in CDCR custody be classified and housed based on their “sense of health and safety, which may or may not correspond with their gender identity.”

“Transgender people in prison – particularly trans women – are at severe risk of assault and sexual victimization because they’re automatically housed by their birth-assigned sex,” Wiener said in a statement after his bill passed. “I’m authoring this legislation to ensure they can be housed where they’re safest. Transgender people should not be forced into isolation because they aren’t protected where they are forced to live.”

After SB 132 became law, Carroll was transferred to the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) in 2021, located in Chowchilla. Carroll does not present as female and has not undergone sex reassignment procedures. He began to garner media attention at this time as one of the first transgender-identified inmates transferred out of a men’s facility into CCWF. 

In a 2022 op-ed for the San Francisco Bay View, a “national Black newspaper,” Carroll again claimed to be the victim of discrimination and sexual misconduct by CDCR employees. 

“Born with boy parts and a girl’s heart, and a confused mind was how life began. There were no dolls nor makeup nor dresses for an only child,” Carroll wrote. The op-ed downplayed his prior criminal convictions, claiming he was given a 25-to-life sentence for “non-violent, non-serious aiding Grand Theft.” Carroll also claimed that from ages 5 to 14 he had been molested by his stepmother. 


Barbwire at a prison

SB 132 does not require transgender inmates to undergo sex reassignment procedures, present as another sex or show any outward sign of their gender identity when they make a request to transfer to an opposite-sex prison. (Getty Images)

The next year, Carroll was interviewed by MindSiteNews for an article that described him as “an incarcerated transgender woman instrumental in several prison lawsuits.” Carroll told the interviewer he “never felt the need” to outwardly identify as anything or “wear lipstick or wear tight clothing or try to change my voice” because doing so would “put me in a box.”

“So, simply because I identify as a woman, 99.9% of the people would assume I’m interested in men. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend, ever. Not in life, not in men’s prison, not now, not never,” Carroll said. 

The Madera County district attorney filed rape charges against Carroll earlier this year for an incident said to have occurred in January.

“On or about January 30, 2024, in the County of Madera, State of California, the crime of Forcible Rape … was committed in that TREMAINE D CARROLL did unlawfully have and accomplish an act of sexual intercourse with a person, to wit, Jane Doe, not against said person’s will, by means of force, violence, duress, menace and fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on said person and another,” the complaint states. 

Ichikawa told Fox News Digital the allegations are upsetting though unsurprising given how SB 132 has “no guardrails” to protect incarcerated women from male convicts with intact penises housed in their facilities.

“The committee that’s reviewing these requests to transfer can’t use someone’s criminal history, physical attributes, sexual orientation, anything like that. Anything that you would think would be a factor that should be taken into consideration before transferring someone to a women’s prison is not allowed and deemed discriminatory,” she said.


Transgender pride flag

Transgender rights activists fly a trans rights flag. (Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images/File)

There are 1,992 inmates in the custody of CDCR who identify as transgender. Of that number, 347 have attempted or are attempting to transfer into a women’s facility and 44 so far have been successful, according to Ichikawa. 

“People are under the impression that the law has allowed prisoners that resemble Laverne Cox to transfer when the reality is there is no other requirement outside of self ID,” she said. “When I was in CCWF for a special event last year, I was speechless. Actually being inside and seeing men walking around in what I once considered sacred grounds for broken women was shocking. The oppression and the silencing was so heavy. That place saved my life, but the prison I did my time in no longer exists.”

SB 132 was opposed by Republican lawmakers, joined by a handful of Democrats: “We warned at the time that this would be abused,and that dangerous criminals would be placed with women in women’s prisons,” said state Rep. James Gallagher, the Republican minority leader in the California State Assembly.

“People in the normal world would say, ‘No, you don’t house dangerous male criminals with women.’ And especially when you’re talking about people who have a history of sexual violence. You never place them with women in a women’s facility,” Gallagher said. He contrasted this view with progressives in “team crazy,” which he said passed SB 132 for “political correctness.”


WoLF opposed SB 132 from the beginning and testified against the bill in legislative hearings. The group’s lawsuit, filed in 2021, asserts that incarcerated women are being placed at a higher risk of sexual assault and pregnancy by SB 132 in violation of the Eighth Amendment. U.S. District Judge Jennifer Thurston dismissed the case on May 14, finding that CDCR, as a state agency, is immune from suit in federal court but gave WoLF leave to file an amended complaint by July 19.

Bone said WoLF is working to fix the deficiencies in its original complaint and will re-file the lawsuit shortly. She said California policymakers “need to care about everybody who’s incarcerated,” not just transgender prisoners.

“They have an obligation to the women who are incarcerated in state custody and in their state and to keep them safe,” she said. “They can’t transfer risk of someone else’s safety onto them and use them to shield males from other male violence. Women shouldn’t have to be used for the validation of male identities.”

WoLF and Women II Women participated in a demonstration outside Carroll’s scheduled hearing on May 17. Carroll is next due in court for a hearing on July 1.

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