Posted Mar 07, 2011 02:35 pm CST
A 78-year-old Louisiana prisoner who pleaded guilty to child molestation in 1999 was surgically castrated on Thursday. Next week he is scheduled to be freed on parole.
Francis Phillip Tullier originally agreed to the castration as part of the plea agreement, but the surgery was delayed because of health problems that included prostate cancer, the New York Times reports. He was approved for parole last October, but a judge pointed out that he still needed to undergo the surgery.
The Times spoke to Dr. Fred Berlin, who founded the sexual disorders clinic at Johns Hopkins University. The last voluntary surgical castration he could remember in a criminal case was in Chicago in 2000. Most often the same results can be achieved through chemical castration, he said. He pointed out that, even after surgical castration, an offender can take testosterone pills to reverse the effects.
Tullier’s plea agreement occurred before Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a castration law in 2008. The legislation authorizes judges to order chemical or surgical castration for certain first-time sexual offenders and requires it for some second offenders. A spokeswoman for the state corrections department said there was no record, however, of a castration sentence under the new law.
Typographical error corrected to read “prostate cancer” at 10 a.m.