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Felon to Be Released Due to Gender Change

Josie Smith will be released due to lack of male hormones
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2020 11:00 AM CST
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Joseph Matthew Smith, now Josie Smith.   (Buena Vista County Jail)

(Newser) – It's all in the hormones, apparently. A convicted sex criminal won't be serving a full prison sentence in Iowa after changing gender identity from male to female, KYouTV reports. Joseph Matthew Smith—now Josie Smith—was sent to prison in December 2015 after molesting up to 15 children, and began gender reassignment treatments about two years later. Now court records show the Iowa Attorney General's office is no longer seeking to have the 23-year-old kept behind bars, per the Des Moines Register. "We don't believe we have evidence sufficient to prove Josie Smith has a significant chance of reoffending," said Lynn Hicks, a rep for the AG's office.

An early state report said Smith's chance of reoffending topped 20% within five years because Smith was under 25, had never had a long-term relationship, and attacked children of both genders. The report recommended keeping the convict behind bars indefinitely, premised upon Smith's male sex drive. But now, that's changed: "An offender’s hormone levels are an important part of substantiating an offender’s likelihood of recidivism," said Hicks, per Yahoo News. Upon release, Smith will legally remain a sex-offender for life and meet regularly with a probation officer. The state report noted that Smith had been repeatedly molested as a child in Louisiana. Hicks said the AG's office had never seen a case quite like Smith's. (Read more sex crime stories.)

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