A Payette transsexual woman will be spending the next three to 10 years behind bars. Catherine Carlson was sentenced to three separate three-year prison terms for arson, possession of a bomb or destructive device and using a hoax destructive device. Carlson had also been found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure, which tacked on an extra 180 days behind bars. In all, she will serve as many as 10 years in Idaho prison. Carlson's incarceration will be history-making in that she will be first known post-operative transsexual incarcerated in Idaho. A number of pre-operative transsexual women are currently incarcerated in solitary confinement in Idaho men's prisons. Prison officials say the prisoners are in men's lockups "for their own protection." Carlson's sentence also included a $1,500 fine.
Prosecutors said Carlson, 53, set her Payette trailer home on fire in July 2010 and left a note on her door saying the home had been booby trapped. A short time later, she was arrested while naked along U.S. Highway 95.
Carlson has already spent nearly a year behind bars, including several months in various mental-health facilities undergoing court-ordered psychological evaluations. Advocates had suggested that a hospital would be more appropriate for Carlson but she was determined to be mentally competent to stand trial. During her time at the Payette County jailhouse, Carlson agreed to a series of jailhouse interviews, where she told BW that she would not take a deal that could have reduced her sentence.