Twenty-eight female prisoners at an Indiana jail allege in two federal lawsuits that they suffered a “night of terror” after being assaulted and sexually assaulted by male inmates who allegedly bought one of the prison guards a key to the women’s wing for $1,000 $.
The ordeal at the Clark County Jail reportedly began early on Oct. 24, 2021 and lasted for several hours during which the women were “raped, assaulted, harassed, threatened and intimidated,” according to the latest lawsuit. was filed in the US District Court of Southern Indiana on Monday.
It was filed on behalf of eight of the women, all identified as Jane Doe, against Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel, now-former corrections officer David Lowe, and several “unidentified” officers at the Jeffersonville, Indiana, jail.
An earlier lawsuit was filed in early June on behalf of 20 other female inmates, alleging that Noel and prison guards violated women’s civil rights by either intentionally or negligently allowing male inmates access to their pods and not allowing them help came.
“Amazingly, even though surveillance cameras were positioned at locations showing the male inmates accessing the women’s quarters, and despite the incident involving several postal detainees (sic) and dozens of victims over an extended period, not a single prison officer was on duty that night on duty came to the aid of the plaintiffs and the other victims,” the complaint reads.
Afterwards, the female inmates allege in the lawsuit that “instead of assisting the victims who were subjected to sexual assault and abuse, prison officials punished the women after the incident” by locking them down, confiscating their property and leaving the lights on for 72 hours on Piece.
They also did not change the capsule’s locks, although the keys were still missing, the suits said.
The lawsuits were filed after Lowe faced three criminal charges in October – escaping, official misconduct and trafficking in an inmate, according to online court filings. His trial is set for November and he faces a minimum of nine years in prison if convicted on all three counts, the filing shows.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Lowe said he made a mistake that allowed inmates to steal the keys. He also insisted he was “forced into a false confession and assaulted” for selling them the keys.
NBC News has reached out to Lowe’s attorney for comment and to Clark County prosecutor Jeremy Mull to see if any of the male inmates who allegedly assaulted the women have been identified and charged with felonies.
The women said two inmates were the ringleaders and that they had dressed up so they could not be identified.
“The men, who covered their faces so they could not be identified, screamed and threatened to harm the women if they called for help or pressed 911,” the complaint reads.
And they immediately made it clear what they wanted.
“Where’s the P—?” They cried out loud the lawsuit. “I haven’t had a p— in two years!”
Later, other male inmates joined in terrorizing the women, the lawsuit says. At least two women were raped.
One of the rape victims, identified as Jane Doe 1 in the recent lawsuit, said she contracted genital herpes as a result of the sexual assault.
The other woman who was raped became pregnant and later miscarried, William McCall, one of the two attorneys representing the 20 women who filed the first federal lawsuit. said the Washington Post.
Noel declined to comment on the allegation on Wednesday, but his attorney Larry Wilder issued a statement blaming “the unpredictable criminal acts of a rogue correctional officer.”
Wilder added that sheriff’s detectives interviewed women who were inside the pod, “and those interviews uncovered information that directly contradicts allegations in the civil lawsuit.”
“Additionally, the investigation appears to indicate that there was a systematic plan by individuals who were detained that evening to develop the narrative that lies at the heart of the allegations in the civil case,” Wilder said.
Both lawsuits allege violations of constitutional rights, negligence, inadequate training and procedures, and other issues. They’re asking for damages, but won’t name a specific dollar amount.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office, which Noel heads, is conducting the investigation because the Indiana Department of Correction “has no supervisory or investigative authority over county jails,” IDOC spokeswoman Annie Goeller said in an email.
An elected officer serving his second term as sheriff, Noel is also a member of Clark County Republican Party leader and a friend of the former Vice President Mike Penceand he endorsed former President Donald Trump.
In 2016, the Clark County Jail was featured on A&E’s reality TV show 60 Days In, exposing abuses that led to the firing of five correctional officers and the resignation of four others. The Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/28-female-inmates-indiana-jail-claim-sexually-abused-mob-male-inmates-rcna40380 28 female inmates at Indiana jail allege they were sexually abused by a mob of male inmates: lawsuits