CCWF: Stop male inmate Richard Masbruch from being housed in a Womens Facility
July 20, 2012
This week the family members of women being housed at the Central California Women’s Facility began an urgent campaign for the removal of male serial torture-rapist Richard Masbruch from the female population. Anna Silver of Los Angeles has started a petition upon hearing the news that Masbruch is about to be transferred to her mother’s unit.
From the petition:
Today as I answered my Mothers phone call she spoke to me and sounded slightly more upset than usual, normally she tells me she misses me. Today she told me that Richard Masbruch would be housed at CCWF. He would be the first male to be housed in a womens facility. Not only would he be housed there he would also be housed within her unit 514. Richard Masbruch is a Serial Rapist. During his time in Mens prison after his arrest he cut off his penis, claiming to be transgender. Due to inmates being unable to be interviewed what wasn’t revealed was that Masbruch is in fact still raping women within the facility, just now with foreign objects. He has also brutally injured some of the women within the facility. Please sign my petition against Richard being allowed in a women’s facility of any kind, so that he may return to a male penitentiary. It would not only help me and my mother but any woman in any facility. Thank you for your help and have a wonderful day.
Who is Richard Masbruch? Masbruch is a career criminal and serial torture-rapist who ties women up at gunpoint and splices together multiple electric cords which he then uses to torture, electrocute and shock his victims before raping and sodomizing them.
In 2005 while housed in men’s prison in texas he successfully castrated himself and began calling himself “Sherri”. Upon completion of serving his term for violent sex crimes in Texas he was transferred to California to begin his life sentence for the sexual torture and rapes he committed in that state. California officials opted to house him in the California Medical Facility in Vacaville where prison officials began providing him with cross-sex hormone treatments. In March 2008 he was reclassified as “female” and transferred to the California Institute for Women. According to Anna Silver, who started this week’s petition, Masbruch has continued to rape and injure female inmates during his incarceration.
According to the Fresno Bee article quoted below, he has been placed in segregation previously by prison officials due to conduct violations. It is unknown how long or how frequently this has occurred. As far as I can tell, he has been transferred back and forth between CIW and CCWF at least once before. (According to the LATimes he was housed at the California Institute for Women as of april 2011.)
A formal grievance was filed against him in 2008 by CCWF inmate Patricia Wright. The outcome is unknown. The Fresno Bee was unable to reach Wright for comment due to prison interview restrictions. From Wright’s letter to the Fresno Bee [pdf link]:
“To Whom it May Concern:
There is a critical situation existing at Central California Women’s facility (CCWF) that I feel should be brought to your attention. There is a man by the name of Richard Masbruch who is currently being housed in General Population at an all women’s facility. After a horrible self-mutilation, it became necessary for surgeons to amputate his penis. This does not by any means make this man a woman, it just makes him a man without a penis.
I am sending you a copy of the ‘body’ of the CDCR 602 Grievance that I recently submitted concerning this issue. I would appreciate your feedback and any help or assistance you can offer me. It is not right to force us women to live with a male offender who has been convicted of heinous crimes against women. I have a human right to a reasonable expectation of safety.
Perhaps if the public was informed of this outrageous situation, something could be done. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I would appreciate any advice you can offer me regarding this matter.”
From her complaint:
“This is a cruel and unusual punishment. His presence is a constant threat and my anxiety level increases daily. The placement of this man here is obviously bending the rules and yet my requests to relocate to California Institute for Women (CIW) are repeatedly denied. I should be afforded the same opportunity for flexing the rules as this man. This is blatant discrimination and I will pursue this matter to the highest court if it becomes necessary. I have the right to be housed with only women and be free of the threat posed by this predator.”
From the Fresno Bee in 2008:
On April 2, 1991, Richard Masbruch went to a small apartment complex near First Street and Shaw Avenue in Fresno, pretending that he wanted to sign a lease, according to court records. He forced apartment manager Mary Koop, then 45, at gunpoint to lie face down on the kitchen floor and hog-tied her with a telephone cord.
There, his attempts at self-castration continued. Sometime in 2000 or 2001, he succeeded in castrating himself, Craig Masbruch said. He’s not sure if his brother was truly overcome by guilt or if he suffers from some form of mental illness.
“I don’t know what’s going through his head,” Craig Masbruch said. “The only thing I can think of is if you’re incarcerated so many years and went through all that … maybe he was so downgraded as a man that he felt better as a woman.”
Craig Masbruch said he doesn’t know when his brother first started taking hormone treatment. He said his mother often sent Masbruch money, which could have been used for hormone treatment while he was imprisoned in Texas.
Hensley, the criminal justice professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, said it is uncommon for inmates to receive hormone treatment while in custody “considering that a lot of prisons are overcrowded and health care is already a major issue.”
When deciding whether to put a former man into a women’s prison, officials must balance the safety of the individual with the safety of the prison’s general population, Hensley said. Masbruch’s case is especially difficult.
In 2006, a transgender inmate at Folsom State Prison who took female hormones was raped by a male inmate. She sued seven prison workers, saying they failed to protect her from her sexually aggressive cellmate. A jury trial ruled against her, but a state appeals court reinstated the lawsuit last month and the matter remains unresolved.
But Shannon Minter, a San Francisco attorney who sits on the board of the New York-based Transgender Law and Policy Institute, said the California prison system appears to have handled Masbruch’s case well.
“What we need to do is get past people’s knee-jerk assumptions and fears and biases and look at this from a reasonable, scientific point of view,” he said. “It’s very easy to accommodate transgender prisoners and house them according to their gender identity.”
According to this 2011 comment Masbruch was currently being housed in SHU (special housing unit) as of last summer:
“I just paroled from CIW and I am completely mortified that a violent MAN is serving time in a womans prison. Richard was arrested, tried, and convicted as a MAN, what is the problem here? The state of CA was, but, is no longer paying for the sex change of a STRAIGHT MAN, so HE can be housed in a womans prison. Richard reaps many benefits of being a STRAIGHT MAN in a womans prison. He is currently being housed in SHU due to attacks against women, wtf???? What is wrong with our state?”
Transgender activist Rebecca (Jared) Kling at fridaythang.com/blog had a different take on the priorities of this situation as he took time to post his personal email complaining to campaign organizer Anna Silver about her use of male pronouns to refer to the serial torture-rapist Masbruch in her petition to prevent the sadistic psychopath from being housed with her mother.
You can read the details of Masbruch’s California crimes at the following link but be advised. This link will take you to a legal record of Masbruch’s trial: http://law.justia.com/cases/california/cal4th/13/1001.html As such it contains horrific graphic details of the sadistic torture and sexualized violence against the females victimized by Mr. Masbruch. If you click on this link you will become extremely upset. For that reason I am not excerpting this record here. You can choose to read it or simply sign the Change.org petition in support of the women who are being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment twenty-four hours a day by being housed with this monster.
Those of you in the media or with media contacts please do what you can to raise the profile of this campaign. Thank you.