Attorneys for transgender Georgia inmate Ashley Diamond say that she is receiving threatening letters from fellow inmates and that prison administrators are the cause.
The accusation came in a July 29 court filing with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Included was a letter Diamond says she received from a fellow inmate urging her to drop a sexual assault claim that she made against a different inmate in June.
"You act like a nigga ain't never put dick to you before," the letter from the July 29 filing reads. "It will be better for you to drop the shit cuz. It's gone make yo time hard, and get you fucked up."
The letter's author also appears to state what Diamond's attorneys at the Southern Poverty Law Center had previously claimed—that Rutledge State Prison Warden Shay Hatcher, who is a defendant in Diamond's federal lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), shared information from her Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) complaint with other inmates.
"And you filed the shit. Hatcher said that in G bldg," the letter continues, before ending with, "Take good advice and tell your peeps to drop it. Nothing happened."
The name of the inmate who wrote the letter is redacted for, as the filing states, "confidentiality and in order to mitigate any additional threats Ms. Diamond may receive as a result of sharing the document."
Diamond's attorneys have asked the court to call a hearing about this latest incident and are waiting on a date to be set.
"The Southern Poverty Law Center’s additional filing in Ashley Diamond’s case demonstrates that she remains in a dire situation," SPLC staff attorney Chinyere Ezie said in a statement to Georgia Voice. "She continues to be threatened by other inmates and endangered by staff. We hope the state prison officials will help remedy the situation or that the court will intervene. We continue to be concerned about Ashley’s safety, health and well-being."
Diamond's lawyers filed the federal lawsuit against the GDC in February, claiming that she had been denied medical treatment and had been sexually assaulted by other inmates at Georgia State Prison. Her hormone treatments were restored and GDC officials transferred her to Rutledge State Prison in May. But then Diamond claimed she was sexually assaulted by an inmate in June while in a holding cell back at Georgia State Prison, a stopover on the way from Rutledge to a medical appointment.