James Pennington, 57, of Denver, Colorado has been arrested on a preliminary charge of felony assault after he used an Army surgical kit to remove the testicles of a transgender man/woman. Police say the operation was conducted in non-sterile surroundings and that Pennington could face additional charges in connection with the incident.
According to court paperwork, Pennington confessed to removing the victims testicles. But there is a lot more to the story. It seems that the surgery was performed at the request of the victim, and his/her wife. Investigators said that it was doubtful that any charges would have been made had it not been for some unforeseen complications.
Police said that they called Pennington after the victim was taken to an area hospital. Mr. Pennington willingly agreed to come in for an interview with investigators on May 17, at the District 3 headquarters. Records from that interview show that during that interview, Pennington told investigators he agreed to perform the medical procedure at the request of the victim in his/her apartment in Denver.
Detectives say Pennington used a military surgical kit which contained a scalpel, lidocaine, medical dressings, and other medical equipment to perform the operation. The complaint says Pennington “used the scalpel and surgically disconnected and removed the victim’s 2 testicles and then sutured the opening back up.”
Additionally, the victim’s wife was present throughout what was described in court paperwork as “a 90-minute-long procedure.” Afterwords, Pennington instructed the couple to call 911 if any complications developed. And problems did develop.
In her statement to police, the patient’s wife said that when she went to change his/her surgical dressings, a large amount of blood poured out of the incision and she decided she needed to call 911 for assistance. When paramedics arrived and saw the wound, they notified police.
The victim was taken to Medical Center of Aurora, where they told detectives he/she suffered from injuries that had a risk of “permanent disfigurement.” Additionally, according to the probable cause statement, “the testicles could not be re-attached due to time delay of a procedure to 911 call.”
The victim’s name, along with that of his wife have been withheld by police. Officials have confirmed that Pennington is not a licensed medical professional in Colorado. The only license he appears to currently hold is that of a pilot. Officers confirmed that he is currently being held without bond in the cities detention center.