Miami-Dade Corrections is pushing back against a claim made that, despite being a trans woman, Nikita Dragun was held in a men’s jail unit following her Monday night arrest.
The 26-year-old beauty influencer was taken into custody on charges of battery of a police officer, disorderly conduct and misdemeanor battery, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by USA Today. The affidavit states that Dragun was walking naked around the pool at The Goodtime Hotel in Miami Beach, “causing a disturbance and being extremely disorderly.” This reportedly included throwing water at hotel security and police.
Though Dragun was released on a $2,000 bond Wednesday, Jack Ketsoyan, a representative for Dragun, told the outlet that she had been held in a men’s jail unit, despite being legally female. Ketsoyan called the decision “disturbing and dangerous,” adding that it violates the corrections department's protocol to classify and house transgender inmates appropriately. He detailed that, after being placed into custody, Dragun was transferred to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center for additional booking.
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In response, Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (MCDR) officials said in a statement that Dragun was never placed in a men’s unit. Spokesperson Juan Diasgranados said that Dragun never made it beyond the booking process, so she remained in supervised open seating, according to NBC Miami.
Diasgranados added that Dragun was eventually placed in a holding cell by herself, rather than in a gendered facility, due to her “high-profile status.” The statement continues: “MDCR has procedures in place for the appropriate intake, housing and medical needs of transgender inmates, and we are committed to ensuring that all inmates in our custody, including transgender persons, are treated appropriately throughout our intake, classification and placement process."
Notably, the arrest affidavit states that Dragun “appears as female but would like to be recognized as male.” However, in bond court, when the judge asked how Dragun would like to be addressed, she answered that her pronouns are “she” and “her.” During the appearance, Dragun also addressed her placement, asking, “Do I have to stay here in the men’s unit still?”
Dragun is now out on bail, and Ketsoyan has not commented directly on the factual dispute with MDCR.
Image via Getty/ Christian Vierig
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