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Mass. transgender inmate fighting for electrolysis

Associated Press Modified: November 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm •  Published: November 18, 2012

BOSTON (AP) — Convicted murderer Michelle Kosilek fought for more than a decade before a federal judge in Massachusetts ordered prison officials to allow her to have a sex-change operation.

Kosilek is still fighting, this time for electrolysis treatments, another step she says she needs to complete her transformation into a woman.

Kosilek's lawyers will be in court Monday to ask U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf to order the state Department of Correction to provide the hair removal treatments. The department is appealing his ruling ordering sex-reassignment surgery.

Kosilek was born male but has received hormone treatments and now lives as a woman in an all-male male prison, where she is serving a life sentence. Kosilek was named Robert when married to Cheryl Kosilek and convicted of murdering her in 1990.

Kosilek, now 63, received seven electrolysis treatments in 2008 to remove facial and chest hair. The DOC discontinued the treatments after finding she had already received significant hair removal and saying her remaining hair could be removed by shaving or using depilatories.

Her lawyers declined to comment on the electrolysis request but argued in court documents filed last month that the DOC provided electrolysis for a limited time "to keep the issue from being fully litigated at trial, showing further indifference to Kosilek's serious medical needs."

The DOC also declined to comment but argued in court documents that Kosilek is attempting to get treatments that have already been denied by the judge.

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