A rapist who identifies as a woman has been sent to a male prison after being convicted of attacking a woman.
Lexi-Rose Crawford, 24, was sentenced to nine years in prison for one count of rape and one of assault by penetration relating to an incident in April 2019.
Crawford committed the offences shortly after being released from a four-year prison sentence for two counts of sexual activity with a child, which took place in 2017.
Bristol Crown Court heard on Wednesday 10 May that Crawford had contacted the victim on Facebook and went to her home to play video games. She sexually assaulted the woman, who repeatedly asked to her stop, before raping her.
It is thought that Crawford began identifying as a woman before the 2019 rape after she had been released for the earlier sex offences on a different victim.
Crawford denied the offences, saying she had “blacked out” during the incident, but was convicted by a unanimous jury following a trial.
Judge Michael Longman sentenced Crawford to nine years in prison for the rape and six years and six months for the assault by penetration, which will run concurrently.
It is understood that Crawford has been sent to a male prison following her sentence, in line with a Government policy which came into force in February 2023.
The guidance states that transgender women offenders will not be housed in women’s prisons if they have male genitalia or have committed sexual offences.
Sentencing Crawford, the judge said Crawford’s convictions were “particularly serious” given her history of offending, and the rape having occurred in the victim’s home.
“Whether you remember raping them or not, it is clear that you ignored their wishes and protests and carried on regardless against their will,” the judge told Crawford.
The judge directed that there should be a restraining order, preventing Crawford from contacting the victim, and the defendant must sign the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.
Prosecuting, Gregory Gordon told the court: “The defendant, Lexi-Rose Crawford, now identifies as female and she contacted the victim on Facebook to go to her address.
“When the defendant arrived at the victim’s address, she brought along a PlayStation. She sat on the sofa and moved to kiss the victim, who said no and stop.
“The defendant carried on setting up the PlayStation then sat on the floor next to her before pulling the victim down and pulling down her clothes and was not listening to the victim’s protests to stop.
“She began to sexually touch the victim, who pulled the defendant’s hand away. The victim was saying ‘stop, I don’t want this’.”
Mr Gordon told the court that Crawford then raped the victim.
He added: “She was told repeatedly to stop but she wouldn’t listen.”
In a victim personal statement, the woman described how she suffered from “flashbacks and nightmares” and had been forced to move house due to the attack happening in her own home.
“My trust in males was low prior to this incident,” her statement said. “After the incident, my trust in males diminished even more.
“My trust in people generally has been affected. Lexi was supposed to be my friend.”
She said she had suffered from anxiety and had experienced suicidal thoughts since the attack.
Representing Crawford, Charley Pattison said her client had been diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder, autism and gender dysphoria.
“Lexi-Rose says she feels she blacked out during these events, she doesn’t have a recollection of it,” Ms Pattison said.
“She gets very upset thinking about it. She was only 20 at the time. This happened on licence but since 2019 she has not been in any trouble. She is extremely sad and upset.”
Ms Pattison said the case had taken four years to come to a conclusion, with Crawford experiencing suicidal thoughts and self-harming as a coping mechanism.
“This is not someone who was arrested, interviewed and had the support of a loving family to get her through the years that would pass,” she said.
Crawford was told she will serve two-thirds of her sentence before being released on licence.