Transgender woman who was arrested at a protest details her 'terrifying' two-day ordeal in a men's jail, revealing she was sexually harassed by inmates, denied medication, and refused help while having a severe panic attack

A transgender woman who was arrested at a protest has alleged that she was sexually harassed and denied her prescribed medications while held in a men's jail for two days without charges. 
Joan Fochs, 23, from Seattle, Washington, told the Patch that she was placed in a male isolation unit at King County Correctional Facility where the man in the cell across from her exposed his genitals and sexually harassed her for at least six hours. 
'It was terrifying and disgusting,' she said of the experience. 'It showed me that the police need to be dissolved and there needs to be something different to take their place.'
Traumatic: Joan Fochs, a 23-year-old transgender woman from Seattle, Washington, alleges she was sexually harassed at a men's jail for two days after being arrested at a protest
Traumatic: Joan Fochs, a 23-year-old transgender woman from Seattle, Washington, alleges she was sexually harassed at a men's jail for two days after being arrested at a protest 
Fochs said she met up with a group of protesters around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, after the grocery store where she works closed early ahead of the night of protests. 
When they were confronted by a group of Seattle police officers, one stopped in front of her and told her she was under arrest for assault, which she disputes.
According to Fochs, the officer claimed in a statement that she had tried to knock him off of his bike while she was out past the city's 5 p.m. curfew. She was denied bail when she was brought to the correctional facility under suspicion of assault.  
She explained that when she arrived at the jail she was told that she couldn't be placed in a standard female unit because she had not changed her legal gender designation, something she can't afford to do.    

Fochs stressed that she has been taking hormones for more than two years but was told that being moved to a female unit would require a meeting with a 'transgender review committee.' 
'I very clearly pass as a woman,' she told the Patch. '[But] that doesn't really matter. It should be based upon what I say.'
She said the walls of her individual cell were stained with dried blood and there was a small window at the top of the door. 
When she looked out the window the next morning, she made eye-contact with the man in the cell across from her, and he started to harass her. 
She recalled the horror of seeing him expose his genitals through the door's food slot, saying he continued to expose himself and sexually harass her for hours. 

When he was released from his cell for a break, she said he banged on the door to her unit for 15 to 20 minutes. 
Fochs claimed she was also unable to take her prescribed hormones and anti-anxiety medications because she was told her prescriptions couldn't be verified with her pharmacy.  
'I basically had a complete and total mental breakdown without my medication in my system,' she said, explaining: 'I had a panic attack. I was hunched in the corner sobbing and hyperventilating.'
Horror: Fochs said she was unable to take her hormones and anti-anxiety medications while in custody and had a panic attack
Horror: Fochs said she was unable to take her hormones and anti-anxiety medications while in custody and had a panic attack
Fochs alleged that she was largely ignored when she pressed the call button in her cell and asked for help during hourly security checks. 
The man who had harassed her was finally moved after she started sobbing in front of the nurses and a correctional officer who came to check her vitals that evening. 
But Foch's said she still faced harassment from other men who were in cells near her up until she was released.  
After nearly 44 hours in jail, she was abruptly let go on Monday around 9 p.m. without a court hearing or being told whether or not charges were going to be pursued against her.   
In the days following the traumatizing experience, Fochs said she suffered from manic episodes from being off her medication and thought about self-harming herself for the first time in months. 
Noah Haglund, a spokesman for the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, told the Patch that they are reviewing Fochs's allegations 'to determine whether there is evidence to support her complaint against another person in custody.'
Fochs said a number of legal organizations that advocate for minority groups have. reached out to her since she shared her story in a Reddit post last week.   
After her harrowing time in jail, she is now among those advocating for defunding of the police.  
'There's no changing a system that's this broken,' she said. 'It needs to be resolved and remade.' 
Transgender woman who was arrested at a protest details her 'terrifying' two-day ordeal in a men's jail, revealing she was sexually harassed by inmates, denied medication, and refused help while having a severe panic attack Transgender woman who was arrested at a protest details her 'terrifying' two-day ordeal in a men's jail, revealing she was sexually harassed by inmates, denied medication, and refused help while having a severe panic attack Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:36 Rating: 5

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