Kenneth Andrew Couch is a repeat sexual offender whose rape convictions include an attack and rape of a woman in an alleyway. After spending two decades in prison for multiple rape convictions, Kenneth declared that he realized he had been a woman all along. He changed his name to Vyvenne Jasmyn Ward, attempted self-castration and fought through legal channels until he was granted a prescription for synthetic hormones.
Under a New York state law instituted by former Rep. Governor Pataki, sexually violent predators are involuntarily committed into psychiatric institutions after serving out their prison sentences. Upon release from prison, Mr. Vyvenne was immediately transferred to the Central New York Psychiatric Center’s sex offender unit. Because there are no female offenders housed in civil confinement in New York State, male offenders who identify as women are placed in facilities with men, but feel oppressed by the practice, claiming they fear sexual attacks. “You (should) ask them where they are going to feel safest,” said Ronica Mukerjee, a nurse practitioner who treats transgender patients.