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The ex-wife of a transgender female inmate who sued the Department of Corrections after claiming she was abused at an ‘all-male’ facility says her $495K lawsuit is ‘bogus’ – as the felon’s mom insists it isn’t.
Minnesota’s DOC agreed to settle Christina Lusk’s case for $495,000 after they housed her in a male facility where she says other prisoners verbally and sexually abused her.
The trans woman legally changed her name in 2018 from Craig to Christina, just before she pleaded guilty to drug possession and was jailed for eight years and two months.
Lusk married in 2005 and her ex-wife filed for divorce in 2008, alleging that Lusk was a ‘heavy drinker’ and ‘violent.’
Lusk’s ex-wife, who asked not to be named, told DailMail.com she was a ‘scammer’ and a ‘big fat liar’ who would do ‘anything for money’.
‘I think all of this stuff he (Lusk) is doing to try to get himself out of doing all of the time in jail,’ she said.
Minnesota’s DOC agreed to settle Christina Lusk’s case for $495,000 after they housed her in a male facility where she says other prisoners verbally and sexually abused her
Lusk married in 2005 and has one child – from a prior relationship – and her ex-wife filed for divorce in 2008, alleging that Lusk was a ‘heavy drinker’ and ‘violent’
‘He would tell his family that if he was a woman, and had boobs, then they had to put him in a female prison.
‘He said that he was going to make sure he made money out of the whole ordeal, he said ”I’m going to become a woman and complain to make sure they give me money and move me”.
‘When we were married he wasn’t doing anything like that, or even after we were divorced. I think he’s a big fat liar.
‘I spoke to his family after we divorced, and they said that it was a big thing to get himself out of prison and get some money.
‘When I saw it on the news, before they released his name, I said to my family that it was something Craig would do – try to scam people to get money.
The ex-wife said her relationship with Lusk was volatile until she filed for divorce when Lusk was in prison for DWI.
‘He was violent to me, and it’s embarrassing. I didn’t know anything about his past life or his drug use or anything,’ she said.
‘I only realized how much he drank after we got married. He was abusive to me and my son. He would drink from the moment he got out of bed until he got back into bed.
‘I left him in prison when he got DWI up north. I filed for divorce and I refused to bail him out I just left him there.’
The woman said during their marriage she had no inclination that Lusk – who also has a child from a prior relationship – was struggling with her gender, calling her ‘extremely masculine.’
‘During our marriage there was absolutely nothing about being transgender. I got a call in 2011 from his probation officer asking about us sharing clothes,’ she said.
‘I was amazed. He had told her that I was comfortable with him doing that, which I wouldn’t have been.
‘When we were married, I was a size two, there was no way he would have been able to fit in my clothes and I didn’t know anything about it until she called me.
‘I called his mother, and she said it was a way for him to get out of jail. If he had boobs, he had to be put into a female facility.
‘It surprised me that he would go through with the surgery. He was always very proud of his manhood and would walk around all the time showing off his muscles.
‘He was very manly. There was nothing feminine about him whatsoever. I think the payout is completely bogus.
‘All of this is just to try to get him out of jail, he’s one of those people that just like’s to be noticed.’
Lusk’s mother Patricia Lombard, 80, told DailyMail.com that her transition was a ‘shock’ and believes her extensive criminal record – dating back to 1984 – was in part related to struggles with her gender identity.
Lombard denies Lusk’s transition is a scam.
‘When she told me it was a surprise, but it was some years ago now. I remember her asking me if she was a boy or a girl when she had been drinking,’ she said.
Her mother Patricia Lombard, 80, (pictured) told DailyMail.com that Lusk’s transition was a ‘shock’ and believes her extensive criminal record – dating back to 1984 – was in part related to struggles with her gender identity
Lusk will be transferred to a women’s facility in Shakopee next week where she will be given further gender-affirming healthcare
Lombard (left) , who admits Lusk has a checkered history with police, said that her daughter would never get surgery for a scam
‘That was around 15 years ago, maybe more. She still calls me every few weeks, she has certainly had a wild ride with the police.
‘I don’t know how many drunk driving convictions she has had, but I know it’s been a few. I’m sure her issues with her gender identity were a cause of the drinking and the criminality.’
Rap sheet of transgender inmate spans three decades and two states
1984: 4th degree Assault – Felony
1986: Theft of over $250
1990: Fleeing a peace officer
Gross Misdemeanour DUI
1992: Fleeing an officer
Driving after revocation
1993: Fleeing Peace Officer
1995: Battery – Domestic violence
Driving without a license
1997: Fleeing Police in Motor Vehicle
1999: Disorderly Conduct
2000: Driving without a license
2001: Burglary/occupied dwelling
Misdemeanour criminal damage
2009: Fleeing Peace Officer in Motor Vehicle
Escape from Custody
2018: Drug possession 1st degree
Lombard, who admits Lusk has a checkered history with police, added: ‘I don’t believe that. She has already had a breast enhancement, and I know that she wouldn’t have gone through all of that for no reason.’
‘I don’t think the thought had ever entered her mind, she was very confused at the time when she asked if she was a boy or a girl.
‘There are times when she has thought about committing suicide, and I have had to talk her off the ledge.
‘For it to be a scam, I don’t think it would have even been a thought in his mind. I would have a very hard time believing that was the case.’
Lusk will be transferred to a women’s facility in Shakopee next week where she will be given further gender-affirming healthcare but Lombard raised doubt if the move will help her daughter.
‘It was more enough was enough being picked on in the male prison, and not just by the inmates. The guards would throw her into solitary, but I don’t think this is her being out to get them,’ she said.
‘I don’t know if the move to a women’s prison will be positive, she’s had to take time because of her gender issues. The suit was about enough being enough and fighting back.’
Lusk claims she had been seeking a vaginoplasty since her incarceration but DOC Medical Director James Amsterdam determined that she should not be allowed the genital surgery whilst in prison, but ‘could pursue that after release’, according to the lawsuit.
The cost of the medical treatments needed for transitioning gender vary by the provider and the type of surgery people choose to get. Often the cost of transgender surgery is not covered by insurance.
For a male to female transition such as Lusk’s, vaginoplasty can cost $25,600 according to estimates from The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery.
Additional procedures can increase transition expenses from there.
The trans woman legally changed her name in 2018 from Craig to Christina, just before she pleaded guilty to drug possession and was jailed for eight years and two months
Lusk will be sent to an all-women facility in Shakopee (pictured) this week after claiming sexual and verbal abuse in an all-male facility
Lusk has a rap sheet spanning more than three decades.
When she submitted the lawsuit, Lusk also wrote to Judge Lisa Janzen to say she was a ‘first-time non-violent drug-offender’.
But DailyMail.com obtained more than 20 criminal records under her under her male name, Craig, spanning more than three decades.
Lusk was first convicted of 4th-degree felony assault and careless driving in 1984, when she was just 19 years old. She spent a year in prison for those offenses, according to records from the Minnesota Judicial branch.
Documents then show that she was then sentenced to four months in Hennepin County Workhouse for a theft over $250, another felony, in 1986.
She was then found guilty of a theft in 1988, but the court imposed a ‘stay of imposition’ meaning they accepted Lusk was guilty but did not impose a prison sentence.
Lusk was instead on probation for five years and had supervised probation as well as being fined $300 and ordered to pay a surcharge of $30.
Lusk has a rap sheet spanning more than three decades. When she submitted the lawsuit, Lusk also wrote to Judge Lisa Janzen to say she was a ‘first-time non-violent drug-offender’
Lusk was first convicted of 4th-degree felony assault and careless driving in 1984, when she was just 19 years old. She spent a year in prison for those offenses
In 1990 she was convicted of fleeing a peace officer in Rochester, Minnesota, as well as DUI. The judge again imposed a stay of imposition for two years and was fiend $500 and paid a $65 surcharge and $81 in costs.
Court documents then show a conviction in 1992 for fleeing an officer in Bloomington, as well as reckless driving and driving without a license – and was jailed for a year.
Then in 1993 Lusk was convicted again of fleeing a peace officer and reckless driving in Olmsted County, where she was sentenced to 120 days in jail.
Records show that Lusk was meant to ‘relocate to Florida’ following her release in April of 1994, and was then sentenced to six months’ probation in Jacksonville for one count of domestic violence.
Lusk was then arrested for a DUI in February 1995, in Jacksonville, as well as not having a valid driver’s license and resisting arrest. She was then handed a $250 fine.
Just days later she was charged with possessing marijuana, breach of the peace, possessing more than one valid driver’s license, and possession less than 20 grams of a barbiturate.
She was found guilty of the crimes but has not been formally convicted and was ordered to be monitored by probation.
She then spent time in Goodhue County jail after being convicted of criminal damage and burglary of an occupied dwelling in 2001- being sentenced to three years and three months and a $250 fine
Lusk’s final charge before officially changing her name in 2018, was a first-degree DWI in 2011, which was prosecuted as a felony by Itasca County Attorney
While in Florida, Lusk was arrested for breaching her probation with regards to the previous battery charges of domestic violence.
In July 1995 Lusk was charged with driving without a license and ordered to pay a fine of $500, costs of $130 and restitution of $500.
Lusk then appeared to move back to Minnesota and was convicted of fleeing police in a motor vehicle in St Paul in 1997. She was handed a 13-month sentence and was fined $150.
She was then given a sentence of 30 days in jail after being found guilty of disorderly conduct in Wabasha County, in July 1999, and was fined $200 as well as a surcharge of $25.
In April 2000 Lusk was then given another stay of imposition after being caught driving without a license, and was fined $1500 as well as being handed a probation of two years.
Lusk was then found guilty of domestic assault in 2001, was handed another stay of imposition and ordered to complete an aftercare program and submit to random testing as well as a fine of $200.
She then spent time in Goodhue County jail after being convicted of criminal damage and burglary of an occupied dwelling in 2001- being sentenced to three years and three months and a $250 fine.
After being released from her prior sentence, Lusk was then convicted of traffic offences in 2004 and 2008, and was banned from bars and liquor stores in the area.
Lusk was again convicted of a DWI in 2008, in Ham Lake, and handed a 90 day prison sentence.
In 2009 she was convicted of another two DWI charges, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and escaped from lawful custody in Deer River, Minnesota.
She was handed a 15-month sentence in total for the crimes, and was ordered to not consume drugs, alcohol or go into any bars or liquor stores as well as submit to psychological evaluations.
Lusk’s final charge before officially changing her name in 2018, was a first-degree DWI in 2011, which was prosecuted as a felony by Itasca County Attorney.
Court documents show that she was jailed at for five years and three months, as well as fined $50.
Several social media posts from Lusk also refer to being ‘sober’ in 2017, before she officially changed her legal name
In 2009 she was convicted of another two DWI charges, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and escaped from lawful custody in Deer River, Minnesota
The convicted felon is described as a ‘male’ in the sex part of the sentencing document for her possession of meth in 2018.
Officers discovered a digital scale, drug notes, 697.9 grams of methamphetamine, large quantities of baggies and $5,166 in cash, according to a probable cause affidavit.
They also discovered a mailing list in Lusk’s bedroom, as well as documents referring to her previous legal name of Craig Lusk.
Several social media posts from Lusk also refer to being ‘sober’ in 2017, before she officially changed her legal name.
The settlement against the DoC also promises Lusk will be given further gender-affirming healthcare and will strengthen its policies to protect transgender inmates.
‘This journey has brought extreme challenges, and I have endured so much. My hope is that nobody has to go through the same set of circumstances,’ Lusk said in a statement after the ruling.
‘I relied on my faith, and I never gave up hope. I can truly say that I am a strong, proud, transgender woman, and my name is Christina Lusk.’
Paul Schnell, the Minnesota DOC Commissioner, said the state is ‘constitutionally obligated’ to treat gender dysphoria and will do so for Lusk.
‘Based on the facts of this specific case, the incarcerated person will now have access to the medical care she needs, she deserves, and we have a legal obligation to provide,’ he said in a statement.
The DOC said gender non-conforming inmates will be placed at facilities matching their gender identities as a result of the ruling.
They will grant those requests ‘unless the requested placement would pose a heightened risk of physical or sexual harm to that person or those housed in the preferred facility.’
‘Everybody needs to come together in unity, and embrace positive change. I believe we have made a big step toward allowing people to express who they truly are, and bring some sort of peace and happiness to their lives,’ Lusk added.
Jess Braverman, an attorney for the group Gender Justice, which is representing Lusk along with the Minneapolis law firm of Robins Kaplan, considers the settlement a positive step.