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The Iowa Attorney General's Office is convinced that a man convicted of multiple sex crimes against children is no longer a public menace because he identifies a woman.

The Storm Lake Times reported that Joseph Smith, a 23-year-old convicted child molester was released from prison after undergoing gender reassignment surgery while behind bars.

Smith was imprisoned in 2014 after molesting a fellow high school student and molesting an estimated 15 children ranging in age from 15 to 1.

Smith received treatment for gender reassignment over the past two years at Newton Correctional Prison. In October 2017 he began using female pronouns and calling himself Josie.

Attorney General spokesmen Lynn Hicks suggested that Smith was no longer dangerous because he is taking female sex hormones.

Hicks told DISRN.com that "an offender's hormone levels are an important part of substantiating an offender's likelihood of recidivism."

"We don't believe we have evidence sufficient to prove Josie Smith has a significant chance of reoffending," Hicks said.