A Kansas man who sexually abused a 14 year-old girl was featured in sympathetic articles decrying the hardships faced by trans-identified inmates in prison.
Rayne Bennett, formerly known as Jacob Lawrence Pina, was convicted in 2016 of indecent liberties with a child and was placed on a sex offender registry for 25 years. According to the 2016 KSN News coverage on the attack, Bennett forcibly imprisoned the girl at his residence and raped her.
Bennett was detained, then released while awaiting trial, likely on bail. It was at this time that he began claiming a transgender identity and adopted the alias Rayne Aloysius Constantine Rose Bennett.
Upon conviction, Bennett was placed in a men’s facility. He then sought out a behavioral health professional and a diagnosis for gender dysphoria in order to secure a transfer to a women's institution, but was rejected by prison medical staff who did not believe he was transgender.
In a number of new articles on trans-identified male inmates in women's prisons, Bennett was utilized as a source to decry the hardships faced by trans inmates in Kansas. On January 6th, Bennett was profiled in the Kansas City branch of NPR. On the 9th, he was sourced for a similar article in The Topeka Capitol-Journal. And then on the 12th, the Levenworth Times also wrote on Bennett.
Bennett was given platform to complain about poor treatment by Kansas correctional staff, and frame a narrative in which males should be allowed to transfer into women's institutions based on self-identification.
Bennett claimed he filed multiple complaints against prison staff for misconduct, including misgendering, but Kansas Department of Corrections denies having copies of any such complaints filed.
Bennett told news outlet The Topeka Capitol-Journal that since he began claiming a female identity and taking hormones, “not only are the looks different, the personality is dramatically different.”
In all instances, media referred to Bennett by "she/her" pronouns, and in none of the articles was his past history of child sexual abuse mentioned.
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