A transgender Scottish man was sentenced for obtaining sexual intimacy by fraud yesterday (6 March).
Chris Wilson, 25, from Aberdeen, was accused of failing to tell two teenage girls his gender history and real age.
The Edinburgh High Court heard one of the girls was aged between 15 and 16 when she first met Wilson in 2008, when he was 20.
The possibly underage girl found out the truth when another girl from Stonehaven emailed her a copy of Wilson’s passport – which gave Wilson’s birth name Christine. The two kissed but it went no further.
The second girl was 15 when she became friends with Wilson two years later, but told him she was 16, the legal age to have sex in the UK.
Wilson, who said he was 17, started a relationship with the girl and they eventually had sex.
His defense layer Shelagh McCall said her client is transgender, identified as a man from a young age, and is hoping to undergo gender reassignment therapy.
Judge Lord Bannatyne deferred sentence on Wilson, who faces jail, in order for the court to obtain reports.
Wilson was bailed and placed on the sex offenders’ register. He declined to comment after the case.
Nathan Gale, the project development manager for Scottish Transgender Alliance, slammed the tabloid reporting of the case.
Speaking to Gay Star News, he said: ‘We are very concerned for trans people because it could set a precedent forcing them to reveal their gender history to new sexual partners.
‘We are, at the moment, urging for clarification from the Crown Office. We are very concerned for the person involved.’
From the Scottish Transgender Alliance's understanding after speaking to police and civil servants, obtaining sexual intimacy by fraud would not be used to prosecute transgender people for having relationships in their self-identified gender without revealing their gender history.
Last year, British teen Gemma Barker was jailed for 30 months after supposedly ‘disguising’ herself as a boy to date female friends.
Jane Fae, a transgender activist, made a parallel with Barker and Wilson, comparing Scottish and English law.
Speaking to GSN, she said: ‘The problem here is not that this sets a precedent, but this was a time bomb waiting to explode.
‘Following the Gemma Barker case, I had extensive discussions with the English Crown Prosecution Service and they were absolutely clear that trans identity could not be an absolute protection from charges of sexual assault or rape.
‘This means that in practice any trans man or trans woman who keeps their gender identity to themselves runs the risk, should their partner later find out and object, of being charged in a similar manner.
‘This is a complex issue and needs further consideration.’