LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM – A convicted trans-identified pedophile was allowed to live alongside children and female victims of domestic violence for 71 days after using a false identity.
Despite public backlash, Leeds City Council and Leeds Domestic Violence Service (LDVS) reviewed the incident and found no policy changes or recommendations needed to be made to avoid the situation in future.
Lennon “Katie” Dolatowski, 22, a 6-foot-5 male who identifies as a woman, was housed at Leeds Domestic Violence Service run by Leeds Women’s Aid (LWA). He gained access after using the pseudonym “Alyanna McKenna.”
One campaign group, Leeds ReSisters, is incensed by the council’s response and have called for trans-identified males to be banned from shared spaces with women at domestic violence shelters.
Dolatowski’s alias is noted in court documents as far back as 2018 when he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl in a Morrisons grocery store bathroom in Kirkcaldy. He also covertly filmed a 12-year-old girl in an ASDA bathroom in Halbeath just a month prior.
The first incident occurred when Dolatowski was 18. He used his mobile phone to record a video of the 12-year-old by holding it over the petition wall in the women’s bathroom.
Only a month later, Dolatowski targeted another young female in a different grocery bathroom. The victim in the Morrisons assault was ordered to remove her pants by Dolatowksi who grabbed her by the face, forced her into the bathroom stall and threatened to stab both the girl and her mother.
According to The Scottish Sun, the 10-year-old was able to punch Dolatowski and flee to safety.
Leeds City Council received backlash for their response to complaints about Dolatowski being placed with children and women who have been victims of domestic violence.
Leeds ReSisters have been vocal critics of the incident and all organizations and council member’s involved.
The group submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Leeds City Council. In a recent statement, they revealed the “safeguarding breach at the Leeds Domestic Violence Service (LDVS) refuge” resulted in no changes to policy and no recommendations to mitigate this happening in future.
The statement notes that LDVS investigated the situation and discussed their findings with “commissioners” in Leeds City Council. They determined that “all relevant checks were made and no-one was put at risk or harmed.”
In reality, Dolatowksi was reportedly court-ordered to have no contact with children. The Leeds ReSisters say that he “duped” Leeds Women’s Aid using false documentation and concealed previous convictions of child sex offenses.
He was housed in an “attached annex” but had access to communal spaces, such as a shared garden.
The Leeds ReSisters claim that in the “rush to be seen as inclusive,” both children and victims are being put in harm’s way and their safety “actively ignored.”
A spokeswoman for the group said that the incident is a safeguarding failure. She said that it seems like Leeds City Council are gaslighting the public by reporting “no one was put at risk.”
“Those vulnerable women and children were placed in harm’s way, they shared communal spaces with a convicted paedophile [sic] for 10 weeks,” the spokeswoman said.
The group has also noted that if women do not feel comfortable in “mixed-sex service,” they are less likely to seek help and local authorities have a duty to mitigate that.
Leeds City Council Head of Commissioning reportedly responded to the Leeds ReSisters concerns on behalf of the Interim Director of Adults and Health.
In written correspondence, the Head of Commissioning wrote, “Unfortunately, I do not think that it will be possible to reach agreement with Leeds ReSisters on this issue as the views set out below [position statement] are not in line with the position we have as a Council which is to have an inclusive service that does not discriminate against transwomen.’”
Leeds Women’s Aid has also reportedly informed the Leeds ReSisters that they will have a consultation with the group about their concerns. However, this has never been followed up and no date has been set.
Dolatowski’s child-abuse incidents are not his only convictions. He has committed two violent offenses against males. In 2021, one of these events landed him in the all-female Cornton Vale facility in Stirling, Scotland, after he breached his bail conditions twice in the same week.
According to the Daily Mail, Dolatowski “contacted the Scottish Ambulance Service on 13 April to say she was having a ‘mental health crisis’.”
Nicola Sturgeon, a member of the Scottish Parliament said the decision to house Dolatowski at Cornton Vale was an “operational decision” to be left at the prison service’s discretion.
Sturgeon’s reform bill on gender recognition, which aimed to lower the age of starting transition to 16-years-old, was blocked by the UK Government. Some legislators were of the opinion that passing the bill would have an “adverse impact on the operation of Great Britain-wide equalities legislation.”
Dolatowski praised Sturgeon’s attempts to pass the bill and stressed that the legislation would not “give trans people more rights and/or access to women’s only spaces.”
Dolatowski used the name Alyanna McKenna on Twitter to express support for Sturgeon. That said, his account has now been suspended. Dolatowski also scrubbed his social media private messages, according to court documents.
J.K. Rowling, who has become an outspoken advocate for women’s spaces, lambasted Sturgeon’s administration for moving a trans-identified rapist, Adam “Isla Bryson” Graham, while Dolatowski remained housed with female inmates.
Rowling said in a tweet thread back in January, “So: in @NicolaSturgeon’s Scotland, trans women AREN’T women if they’re convicted double rapists, like Adam ‘Isla Bryson’ Graham. However, trans woman and paedophile [sic] Katie Dolatowski, who covertly filmed a 12-year-old and attempted to rape a 10-year-old, both offences [sic] committed in women’s public bathrooms, IS a woman and remains in the women’s prison from which Adam Graham is to be removed.”
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 27, 2023
Sturgeon resigned weeks later. She didn’t acknowledge if the move had anything to do with Graham or Dolatowski.
In response to the incident at LDVS, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that the Beaumont Society, a national “self-help” body of the transgender community, condemned Dolatowski but still defended the rights of “transgender women who are domestic abuse victims.”
The society’s president, Rachel Dee, said that no “wrongdoing” happened in the 71 days Dolatowski was at the crisis center.
“It seems that the rights of all sections of society are under assault at the moment. We can only say the trans community has rights as well.’”