In a lawsuit filed in Indiana, female inmates allege that male detainees gained access to their cells where they were subjected to a “night of terror.”
On Friday, July 22, eight women filed a complaint against Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel and current and former jail officers.
According to the women, jail officer David Lowe received $1,000 from two male detainees in exchange for keys to the jail’s interior on Oct. 23, 2021. The lawsuit claims that on that particular night, the two male detainees and other male inmates entered the jail’s restricted quarters where women were kept.
“Numerous male detainees used the keys obtained from Lowe to enter Pods 4(E) and 4(F), where they raped, assaulted, harassed, threatened, and intimidated the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, and other women, for several hours, resulting in significant physical and emotional injuries,” read the lawsuit.
The men allegedly threatened to continue harming the women if they pressed the emergency call button.
Despite the assaults being captured on security video, the women claim that no correctional employees intervened on their behalf.
WDRB reported that Lowe was fired and charged with trafficking with an inmate, aiding an escape, and official misconduct after admitting to accepting bribes from inmates and allowing them to access restricted areas.
According to WHAS, he will face a jury in a criminal trial in September.
Noel, Lowe, and other unnamed jail guards were the targets of a similar civil rights lawsuit by 20 women in June.
“Women were harassed, sexually assaulted, threatened, and completely terrified,” said Bart Betteau, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs. “When I met with each and every one of these women, and they broke down repeatedly, you get the impression, the understanding of what these women went through.”
When the previous lawsuit was filed, Scottie Maples, chief deputy for the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, said the rape allegations had been investigated internally, but no charges had been filed.
In response to the Oct. 23 incident, jail officials left the lights on for 72 hours, denied the women legal privileges, and confiscated pillows, blankets, and hygiene items, according to the lawsuit.
“The violation of the Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights was the result not only of a single bad actor, Lowe, but also due to a systemic failure on behalf of the Clark County Sheriff who failed to properly staff the jail, train the jail officers, and supervise the jail officers to make sure they maintained adequate security at the jail,” the July lawsuit states.
In both instances, the women ask for jury trials and compensatory damages.