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30 June 2007

What will happen to to ... Sandy-Jo Battista

++Updated June 2011

Sandy-Jo Battista was born David Megarry Jr in Massachusetts in 1962. He had a rough childhood. He had a rare hormonal imbalance, 21-hyperplasia Syndrome, which led to rejection by his mother. He also witnessed his father kill his mother. He was taken in by a female relative who abused him. At the age of 21 he apparently raped a 10-year-old girl. However I cannot find anything online that describes this in any detail. Was it real forcible rape? Was it statutory but consensual? Was it mainly a misunderstanding? The various mentions online say nothing between these options. Nor do they say anything that would imply that Megarry was a predatory pedophile.

Megarry was sentenced to 18 years in prison. He completed the 18 years back at the beginning of this decade. But just because you have completed your sentence does not mean that you are released. He was transferred to the Massachusetts Treatment Center for the sexually dangerous in Bridgewater for an indefinite civil commitment.

While in prison he started to transition, and is now known as Sandy-Jo Battista. She has requested castration and has offered to pay for her own sex change. How, after 24 years in prison, she could afford to pay - is something else not explained in the media. But surely this is a reasonable offer. As a post-op woman, she would be unable to repeat her crime. There is much evidence that post-ops fit better into society and are less likely to commit crimes. Surely any penologist interested in reducing recidivism would go for the offer.

One is of course amazed at the incredible antagonism in the US to prisoners having a sex change. In the case of Michelle Kosilek (born 1949, also Massachusetts, in for wife murder) the Corrections Department paid over $52,000 for so-called expert testimony that she does not need a sex change. So much for the argument that the Massachusetts Department of Corrections cannot afford to pay for such operations.

A few hundred kilometres north, in Canada, the Human Rights Tribunal ruled in 2000 that Corrections Canada was discriminatory in placing transwomen among a male population and that the absolute ban on sex changes was unwarranted. This decision was upheld in Federal Court, and the plaintiff, Synthia Kavanagh (born 1962, in for killing her lover, a fellow transy-hooker) was operated on later that year, and then transferred to a women's prison.

A naughty thought occurs. I will follow this through as a thought experiment. Is Sandy-Jo a "real" transsexual? Usually "real" is an inauthentic distinction. A "real" transsexual is one who goes through with it, through all the hassles, the job losses, the cost, and the lowered status. One proves one is real by doing it. However incarceration changes the game. For Sandy-Jo, although not for Michelle Kosilek or for Synthia Kavanagh, it is a way to get out of prison. I am not being critical. She has has served a complete sentence and more. Good luck to her if it works. The famous example of a prisoner faking a disease to get out was Ernest Schleyer, the crooked CEO of Guinness PLC, who was sentenced to 5 years, who developed symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and was released after 10 months, and, lo and behold, recovered completely from the symptoms, and went on to a successful career as a business consultant. However Sandy-Jo cannot be playing this game for, as she certainly knows, the sex-change operation is irreversible. It is possible that she is a mild transgender, a person who - if not in prison - would explore drag, but would never commit to a sex-change. Given a stark choice: incarceration for life, or live as a woman, which would you choose? I put the question to my husband, who is no way transgender, and he had no difficulty in choosing the sex change.


Between 2005 and 2011 Battista applied to the courts as a pro se litigant in  response to the Massachusetts Department of Correction's decision to block her prescription for GID treatment.  That treatment, which included hormone medication, had been unanimously approved by the DOC’s own contracted medical providers.  In May 2011 the US Court of Appeals ruled in her favor.

Shortly afterwards, a blogger using the moniker GallusMag wrote a libelous article accusing this author of saying that the victim was 'asking for it'.  As a feminist and a human being, I never defend child or adult rape.  Nor did I even suggest that Megarry should not have served a prison sentence. However I still do not know the facts in the Megarry case. GallusMag's account is very different from those that were appended here as comments, some of which were from persons who say that they knew Megarry.  However let us assume that GallusMag does have the facts right.  28 years so far for a single rape is totally out of proportion.  Serial killers have been released after serving shorter terms than that. 

However the most intriguing aspect is that GallusMag is is so emphatic that a convicted rapist must--at whatever cost, be it a large multiple of the cost of a sex change operation--that the rapist must be prevented from giving up the testosterone and the penis that are required for rape.  Is GallusMag totally mad?


  1. Anonymous6/5/08 12:54

    On the matter of the sandy-jo battista case. It was oral rape of a 10yr old girl who was unlucky enough to knock on his door selling girlscout cookies .
    Personally I belive that him wanting to become a woman was all part of a farse to get out of prison due to the looming civil commitment act. he had been known to indulge in crossdressing for years, but to actually become a woman , I don't belive that is what he truly wants. I have known him for a very long time, all he wants is to be out of prison since he served his complete sentence as of 2001. On another note, even though he has served his sentence, i do not feel it would be a wise descision for him to be let out , even if he was to use his inheritance money to pay for his own castration.

    1. Anonymous15/9/14 14:27

      This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Anonymous15/9/14 14:30

      If your going to write a rebuttal try telling the truth. You don't know me. If you did you would know my victim wasn't a girlscout selling cookies at my door. That's a rumor the prisoners made up. That tells me your someone who worked in the prison I was at. My crime happened no where near where I lived.

  2. I do not think anyone can say what he/she thinks. This is plainly a case of lost in the system and just forgetting about someone.
    He served his time regardless and it was time to get out.
    These facts are not all correct. Noone has known the offender longer than I have.
    I am not condoning his offense at all but the victim was not hurt in the sense of the word murdered or not even raped.

  3. Anonymous2/10/08 12:43

    Who can say what he really wants? Not the anonymous poster.. the offender did his time. This is a case of getting lost in the system.
    I am not condoning what he did but the crime has been paid for. He did not kill nor even rape!

  4. He was sentenced 12 to 20 years as a first time offender and did the whole 20 years in 2001 and is now civilly committed from 1 day to life for the oral rape for the same offense

  5. Anonymous15/9/14 14:41

    I've read numerous articles about myself since I've been released. This is the first that seems impartial. For the record I served 32 years and 3 months. But who's counting. I went in prison when I was 20 years old and released in March 20, 2014 at. 52 years old. Contrary to what people may believe about prison life, it's not all swimming pools and tennis courts. To this day I still suffer from nightmares over the horrors I endured all those years. I have no intention to reoffend or EVER go back to that life again. I have my own apartment now, pay bills, pay taxes, and struggle to get by like everyone else. All I want is to be left alone and to live what little life I have left before I die. So please do me a favor go on to some one else and leave me alone. I do want to thank the writer of this article for not being one sided and some of the anonymous comments that seem to agree I did my time and some and deserve a chance at life. Something I finally was given and will cherish forever.


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