Was a Transgender Woman Convicted for Raping a Young Girl in a Bathroom?

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In mid-October 2017, conservative journalists and bloggers sought to link a case of child sexual abuse to an ongoing debate about allowing transgender people to use the public restroom that matches their gender. Proponents of so-called “bathroom bills”, legislating that transgender people must use the restroom of the sex assigned to them at birth, have spuriously argued that transgender women’s use of women’s restrooms puts children in danger of sexual abuse.  

The story was typically titled something like “Transgender Wyoming woman convicted of sexually assaulting 10-year-old girl in bathroom,” and it was repeated by Daily Caller, Daily Wire, Red Flag News, Silence is Consent, Fox News, and Louder With Crowder. The latter site claimed that the alleged assault was a direct consequence of bills allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity:

There’s a special place in fiery pits of hell for people who molest

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