Editor's note: This story contains descriptions of sexual abuse that may be disturbing to readers.
FLORENCE — A 77-year-old Casa Grande woman was convicted last month of two counts of sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15 that took place when the defendant identified as the victim’s stepfather.
The crimes were committed in 2003, and the victim was the 14-year-old stepdaughter of the defendant, who now goes by the name Norma Kay.
The defendant was indicted in September on three charges, although the third charge — sexual abuse — was later dismissed by the court because it fell outside of legal time limits.
On May 17, four days before a jury trial was supposed to begin, Superior Court Judge Jason Holmberg accepted Kay’s decision to waive the jury trial, changing it to a bench trial, where the judge renders the verdict. The trial lasted two days — May 21 and 23 — and Kay testified late on the first day.
Following closing arguments May 23, court recessed. After 52 minutes of deliberation, Holmberg announced a guilty verdict on both counts. The charges are Class 2 felonies, designated as dangerous crimes against children.
Kay was born in 1942 as Norman Kay Rogers in Lafayette, Indiana.
According to court records, at the time of birth, there was confusion regarding the child’s gender. Kay’s father made the decision to raise the child as a boy, but Kay later identified as a girl. The child had minor surgery to “correct” ambiguous genitals and was raised as Norman.
Upon becoming an adult, Kay stopped using the first name Norman and began taking female hormones.
Kay met the victim’s mother in the late 1990s, and they became close friends. Kay later bought 2 acres in Casa Grande and lived there in a double-wide trailer with the woman and her daughter.
As the relationship between Kay and the woman deepened, Kay stopped hormone therapy and changed her name to Nicholas Horn, eventually marrying the victim’s mother.
In 2005, the victim told a classmate that she had been sexually assaulted by an adult male living with her parents. During a police investigation, she also reported being sexually abused by her stepfather, Kay, then known as Horn.
The victim said that during a massage, Kay grabbed her breasts and used a sex toy and her fingers to penetrate her vagina. Attorneys for the state added Kay also would kiss and touch the victim’s breasts during massages.
Despite the allegations, Kay remained married to the victim’s mother for another 10 years before they divorced.
In September 2016, Horn filed for a legal name change to Norma Kay and explained the reasoning for the request in an attached memo.
“Under doctor’s supervision I am resuming hormone replacement therapy preparatory to gender reassignment,” Kay wrote. “I am a lecturer and public speaker, and I am recognized in that capacity as ‘Norma Kay.’ I am a certified peer support specialist and function within the gender community of behavioral health and wellness as mentor, advisor and counsel.”
A self-described author, Kay further stated she had written two books under the name Norma Kay and had submitted them for publishing.
Included in the filing for a name change, Kay had to list reasons why she was requesting a deferral of associated fees. She said she was on food stamps and reported her prior year gross income as $11,076 — all of which came from Social Security. She listed no money in assets or bank accounts.
When Kay was admitted to the Pinal County jail, she was placed in a male pod of the facility, even though her driver’s license and other legal documents list her as female. Court records show this terrified Kay, who feared for her safety and said she belonged with female inmates.
Among other things, Kay was forced to use the bathroom in view of male inmates and had to shield her genital area.
While incarcerated, Kay tried to have her public defender dismissed because she said he told her she should “resolve” herself to prison. Her motion was rejected by the court.
The defendant also filed a motion to modify release conditions. When the state filed to have that motion denied, it told the court the defendant had used a “position of trust” as the victim’s stepfather to violate her sexually.
The state also said Kay had “acknowledged” the charged incident described by the victim in a recorded phone call. The court sided with the state and denied Kay’s motion to modify release conditions.
Sentencing for Kay is set for June 17 in Pinal County Superior Court.