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Convicted Sex Offender Is No Longer a Threat after Undergoing Gender Transition Treatment

  • Amanda Casanova Contributor
  • Published Jan 31, 2020
Convicted Sex Offender Is No Longer a Threat after Undergoing Gender Transition Treatment

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has dismissed a case against a former Midwest Christian Services student convicted of sex crimes after the student identified as a woman.

According to the Des Moines Register, court records show the state dismissed the case in early January. 

Attorney General spokesman Lynn Hicks did not comment on the reason for the dismissal other than to say “an offender’s hormone levels are an important part of substantiating an offender’s likelihood of recidivism.”

In November, the Storm Lake Times reported that Joseph Matthew Smith, 23, was “undergoing medical treatment that is needed prior to (Smith) potentially undergoing gender reassignment surgery.”

Smith had previously been convicted of molesting an MCS student in 2014.

Smith has received treatment for gender reassignment the past two years at Newton Correctional Facility. In October 2017, Smith first expressed a desire to “get started on transgender classification” and began using female pronouns. Smith now prefers to be called “Josie.”

An Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman said Smith had been transferred to the Sioux City Residential Treatment Facility for transitional release. He did not say when Smith will be released.

“We don’t believe we have evidence sufficient to prove Josie Smith has a significant chance of reoffending,” Hicks said in a statement last week.

Smith will have to register as a sex-offender for the rest of her life, Hicks noted.

“Josie Smith will be subject to strict sex-offender reporting required of those who commit the crimes she did,” Hicks said. “She’ll be subject to supervision for the rest of her life.”

A preliminary report prepared by the state’s expert, Dr. Jeffrey Davis, says Smith molested some 15 victims, ranging from ages 1 to 13 before being sentenced to time in prison.

Smith was sentenced to prison in December 2015.

Davis’ report found the likelihood of re-offending within five years of release exceeded 20 percent for several reasons. Among the reasons are that Smith's victims were of both genders, that Smith was under 25 and that Smith has never had a long-term relationship.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Zakokor

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.