A trans woman convicted of raping two women as a man was found to have enrolled in a college beauty course that included spray tanning sessions while facing charges.
The Daily Record reports that Isla Bryson enrolled in a beauty therapy course at Ayrshire College’s Kilwinning campus in 2021, claiming that former students often had to take off their clothes to act as models for spray tanning and waxing demonstrations.
Bryson, a man known as Adam Graham, was convicted of raping two women, one in 2016 and the other in 2019, following a hearing in Glasgow’s Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The college said it “had no prior knowledge that this person had been charged with any crime.”
Former students are seeking answers from the university on how Bryson was able to enroll in the course despite awaiting a trial date for sex crimes.
Rachel Ferguson, 21, told the Daily Record that watching Bryson naked made her feel “physically ill”.
“After being accused of this, it really scares me to look back and realize you were watching me naked,” she said.
“It makes me feel physically sick and violated.
“We should have known about the charges. It’s not right that we didn’t.”
Bryson first appeared in court as Graham in 2019 and was later named Isla Annie Bryson, formerly known as Adam Graham, in court documents the following year – around the time she decided to switch.
An Ayrshire College spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the individual was enrolled as a student at Ayrshire College for a period of three months in 2021 and is no longer a student at the college.
“Ayrshire College had no prior knowledge that this person had been charged with any crime.
“We will not comment further on this matter.”
Meanwhile, the former governor of Cornton Vale, where Bryson was arrested following his conviction, said it was “complicated” to place the rapist in a women’s prison.
Rhona Hotchkiss told BBC Scotland: “I’m afraid I would have refused to have this person in Cornton Vale. It goes against all natural justice.
“I would insist that there is no reason for this person to be considered at Cornton Vale.
“It’s wrong to use distinction when it’s not absolutely necessary, and I think that’s what’s going on here.”
It is now clear that Bryson was transferred to HMP Edinburgh after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that she would not serve her sentence in a women’s prison.
Ms Sturgeon said: “After his conviction on Tuesday, Bryson was taken to the Cornton Vale women’s prison in Stirling. The transfer to the men’s prison is expected to be completed on Thursday.
“It would not be appropriate for me to give details of where any prisoner is being held.
“However, given the understandable public and parliamentary concern over this case, I can confirm to Parliament that this prisoner will not be placed in Cornton Vale women’s prison.
“I hope this gives the public some reassurance.”
A Scottish Prison Service (SPS) spokesperson said: “SPS’ decisions about the best place to accommodate transgender people are made on an individual basis, informed by a multidisciplinary assessment of both risk and need.
“Such decisions are aimed at protecting both the well-being and rights of the individual as well as the well-being and rights of others around them, including staff, in order to achieve an outcome that balances risks and supports the safety of all, and this is exactly what is desired. happened in this case.”