A woman receiving high doses of testosterone in a bid to switch genders – treatment that had “nothing short of medically disastrous” libido-boosting effects – was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment today for a catalog of child abuse conducted at the San Francisco and Livermore daycare centers where she worked.
Jace Wong, 28, born Robyn Danielle Wong, had earlier pleaded guilty to seven counts of production, distribution and possession of child pornography. She was described by prosecutors as “a systematic predator of toddler and preschool aged children” whose conduct was “among the worst imaginable.”
Wong filmed naked and partially-dressed boys and girls in her care before sharing them with other pedophiles in internet chat rooms. She manipulated childrens’ genitals and encouraged them to touch her inappropriately, describing in graphic detail further abuse she wished to perpetrate. Her phone contained videos created by others which including footage of the gravest possible sexual abuse of young children.
The court was told that the testosterone Wong received for her ‘gender transition’ therapy, coupled with her congenital diagnosis of Triple X syndrome, resulted in a calamitous increase in her sexual urges and libido.
“It is arguable that the medical professionals involved in [Wong’s] gender transition should have exercised greater oversight and provided more guidance to this, at the time, young woman about the potential biological interactions of testosterone and [her] genetic disorder,” wrote attorneys for the defendant.
“This is a horrific case,” said U.S. District Judge James Donato this morning. “In nine years on the bench this is the first case I’ve had that involved the actual physical abuse of children and, in that sense, it is the gravest and the most serious and most reprehensible crime that I have seen with respect to child pornography.”
Uncovering years of abuse
The abuse came to light as a result of an investigation into certain users of the messaging app Kik who it was suspected were sharing child sexual abuse material via the service. An undercover officer inveigled his way into a pedophiles’ group chat in which Wong, using the monicker anontransboi, sent photos and videos of young children in bathrooms with their genitals exposed.
In private chats with the officer Wong admitted that she was filming the videos in a childcare center. She would go on to describe in graphic detail the abuse she wanted to perpetrate upon the children. After this the FBI found that the she worked at Mission Neighborhood Centers daycare on 18th Street in San Francisco and moved to arrest her on April 13, 2021, later uncovering further abuse at a previous employer.
Questioned by the FBI, Wong confessed to recording videos of children at her workplace. She showed agents a hidden album on her smartphone which contained more than 400 media files many of which contained videos and images of the gravest sexual abuse of minors including the apparent rape of a 6-7 year old girl.
The victims in San Francisco were children aged 4-6 years old and were from families who predominantly spoke Spanish.
Wong produced other videos of her molesting young children while they were sleeping, including putting her hand inside their underwear, while working at CAPE daycare in Livermore between August 2019 and December 2020. At the same time as this material was being produced, and uploaded to the internet, Wong was posting to the internet her fantasies about the children in her care written in the most graphic of terms.
She was also a prolific user of the internet message board Reddit. Using the username yo_hoemie, she commented on a story about a daycare worker who was arrested on child pornography charges. In her reply she stated that she worked in a head start center with preschoolers and had to be especially careful “as 1 of 2 male teachers” working at the center. This was almost certainly one of the posts reviewed by FBI agents that led to them determining that Wong did actually work with children.
Wong’s ‘masculinizing’ testosterone treatment leads to “increased sexual urges”
The court was told that the testosterone treatment Wong was receiving as part of ongoing gender transition therapy interacted with her congenital diagnosis of ‘triple X’ syndrome to create a “recipe for disaster” which caused “increased sexual urges and disorientation.”
“[Wong] has been predisposed to behavioral challenges since birth due to [her] genetic condition of Triple X syndrome,” wrote defense attorneys in a sentencing memorandum. “The introduction of exogenous testosterone as a result of the gender transition [Wong] underwent at the age of 22 was nothing short of medically disastrous. [Wong] reached out to [her] doctors for help in October 2020, but the convergence of these medical factors contributed to a collision of sexual urges that [Wong] was unable to effectively control. Defendant became more vulnerable to poor decision-making and harmful behavior.”
It was at the time of this offending at the CAPE daycare in Livermore that Wong contacted doctors at Kaiser Permanente, telling them that she was experiencing increased sexual urges and wanting “a way to lower my libido without lowering my testosterone intake.”
In January 2021 an endocrinologist working for Kaiser reviewed lab tests and found Wong had a testosterone level of 1,082 ng/dL – the ‘reference range’ being 240-700 ng/dL – which was flagged as “abnormal” and “high” and caused the physician to decrease the testosterone does “slightly”.
“It is arguable,” Wong’s attorneys told the court, “that the medical professionals involved in [her] gender transition should have exercised greater oversight and provided more guidance to this, at the time, young woman about the potential biological interactions of testosterone and [her] genetic disorder.”
A defense expert wrote that “while the hormonal imbalances brought about by this exogenous testosterone are not well understood, the sudden onset of libido, sexual urges, and sexual impulses would be ‘extremely disorganizing for girls with this disorder’.”
Prosecutors feared that this offending was just the tip of the iceberg. They took the view that Wong’s name change from “Robyn Danielle” to “Jace” coupled with her switch from female to male pronouns served in fact to disguise from other parents that their children were potential victims of her abuse.
Much of her offending came while she was using her given female name.
“Most parents, co-workers, or other potential witnesses to misconduct by Wong are likely unaware that Jace Wong is the same individual – or the same daycare worker, teacher or babysitter – that they knew as Robyn Wong,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Tartakovsky told the court on the defendant’s arrest.
Wong’s 25 year sentence was jointly recommended to the court by attorneys for the Government and the defense pursuant to a plea agreement. She had faced a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
“The defendant is a sexual predator that the court needs to protect the public from,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelsey Davidson. “A sentence of 300 months will protect the public, reflect the seriousness of the offense, and provide adequate deterrence.”
The court was provided with written victim impact statements from the families of the children. One wrote of Wong that “[h]e or she has broken the peace in my mind.” Another parent, whose child now has emotional outbursts said “I am unable to trust anyone with my daughter and I often find myself having anxiety.” A third parent said that they “miss the smiles of my girls that I remember seeing and knowing prior to Wong’s malicious abuse.”
Particular concern was expressed that the videos Wong had uploaded of the children would likely be on the internet forever and be used by other pedophiles in perpetuity.
A mother of two of Wong’s victims broke down when she addressed the court this morning, telling the judge that she had thought her children were safe in Wong’s care and that the impact of these crimes “had been devastating” on her family.
“It is a fair measure of punishment for the egregious crimes the defendant committed,” said Judge Donato said of the 25 year term imposed, “[and] will be highly protective of our community and prevent our children and families from future harm.”
“I understand the defendant’s situation medically and psychologically – they are not trivial and they were a major factor as to why I accepted the [negotiated] plea.”
“It in no way absolves the defendant from responsibility for these heinous crimes but it does inform any assessment as to what a proper and just term is in this case.”
Much of the pre-hearing briefing was taken up with concerns about how Wong was to be housed by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons with her attorneys insisting that she be detained in a women’s prison.
“[…] Wong’s small stature renders [her] vulnerable to other opportunistic and predatory prisoners. In addition, [Wong] has not undergone sexual affirmation surgery affecting [her] genitalia – referred to as ‘bottom surgery’ and is therefore at incredible high risk of sexual victimization in an all-male facility.”
Judge Donato agreed to recommend to the Bureau that Wong be held in such a facility.
Wong was held at San Francisco County Jail, on behalf of the U.S. Marshals Service, until earlier this year when she was moved to Fresno County Jail in what her attorneys said was “punishment” for causing “management problems” while incarcerated.
San Francisco Sheriff’s Department refused to respond to a Public Records Act request for information about housing of transgender inmates, whether there had been any instances of complaints about transgender inmates, including by other inmates of a different biological sex, and the associated costs.
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