BOSTON (AP) – A federal judge who will decide whether a convicted murderer can have a sex-change operation wants to hear from the head of the state’s prison system.

Department of Correction Commissioner Harold Clarke is slated to testify Monday in federal court in the case of Michelle Kosilek, who claims not allowing the surgery amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

Prison officials say the surgery could make Kosilek a target for sexual assault by other inmates. Clarke, who took over the department in November, said last month that he would re-examine the case.

Robert Kosilek was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife in 1990. Kosilek legally changed her name to Michelle in 1993 and has been living as a woman in an all-male prison in Norfolk.

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