A man sentenced to serve decades in prison for horrific sexual assaults against a 13-year-old girl has reportedly been transferred to a women's prison after he began "sometimes" identifying as transgender.
Approximately 20 years ago, Brett David Sonia, who now uses the name Brooke Lyn Sonia, met a 13-year-old girl in New Hampshire and convinced her that he would help her launch a "modeling" career, reports claim. During the course of his photography sessions with the victim, Sonia began asking her to take off her clothes and, eventually, to perform various sex acts while he continued to snap pictures. He also took the girl all the way to Los Angeles, California, where he sexually assaulted her again. The accusations against Sonia were so heinous that attorneys had difficulty finding enough jurors who would agree to hear the details of the case.
In 2005 and 2006, Sonia was convicted in both states of dozens of charges relating to child rape, sexual exploitation, and child pornography. He was sentenced to serve a minimum of 22.5 years and a maximum closer to 40 years for the New Hampshire assaults. Once he serves at least the minimum sentence, a California court will consider whether to impose further sentencing for the California assaults.
Sonia was transferred to a Washington state prison in 2016, approximately a year after he began identifying as "transgender." The prison transfer itself is not unusual. States regularly transfer inmates to prisons that might better suit their needs, even when those prisons are located in another state.
Sonia was initially placed in various men's prisons in Washington, but according to an exclusive report from Reduxx, he has now been transferred into the Washington Correctional Center for Women because he claimed he feared "male aggression" at the facility in Airway Heights. A Washington law, passed earlier this year, now forbids the disclosure of the transgender status of current and former inmates, so it is difficult to confirm whether Sonia has, in fact, been transferred to WCCW.
Luckily, there are still a few brave whistleblowers willing to try to expose some of the alleged secrets of the system. In this case, a man going only by the pseudonym "Shawn" has come forward to claim that he knows for a fact that Sonia has been placed with the women. Shawn has a close family member serving a sentence at WCCW, and Shawn's family member and other WCCW inmates have expressed to Shawn their fear of Sonia, a 54-year-old male predator.
"I worry about [my relative] being alone in the restroom, and the prison trying to force her share a cell with a man," Shawn told Reduxx.
Shawn also reported that Sonia isn't even trying that hard to convince women at the prison that he is one of them.
"He was saying that he’s both. … [He] identifies as a man sometimes, and a woman sometimes,” Shawn stated. "I know he looks like a regular middle-aged man with glasses. My relative says he doesn’t look trans at all. His mannerisms are manly, no makeup, nothing to suggest he’s trans."
Shawn suspects that Sonia may prefer to serve his time in a women's prison for two key reasons: WCCW is considered to be "Camp Cupcake," with fewer restrictions than male facilities, and of course, WCCW provides easy access to vulnerable women.
"These [incarcerated] women have profound trauma histories, mostly at the hands of men. As my family member explains, the Washington Department of Corrections is saying they don’t matter and it’s OK to re-victimize them and cause them further trauma. They are saying they don’t matter," Shawn alleged.
Shawn also reportedly furnished Reduxx with a list of eight biological males convicted of violent crimes who are currently housed in WCCW under the pretense that they suffer from "transgenderism." Those men include a serial killer and a man convicted of raping and murdering a woman in 2007. Shawn claimed that sexual encounters between the male and female inmates at WCCW are common.
"There are some very aggressive men coming in here," Shawn insisted about WCCW, and "all of them are having sex with women."
Still, according to Shawn, many of the female inmates remain wary of Sonia.
"At least one woman is terrified and uses a buddy system to visit the bathroom," Shawn claimed. "She always brings a friend.”
A search for "Brett Sonia" and "Brooke Sonia" on the Washington Department of Corrections website did not yield any results. He is still listed on the New Hampshire DOC website, though his location is listed as a "Non-NHDOC Facility."
Sometime in 2021, dozens of demonstrators gathered near WCCW to protest housing male inmates at the prison. The following video shows various women speaking out against this practice: