Indiana jail, Sheriff and guards sued after 28 eight female inmates were subjected to a ‘night of terror’ – sexually assaulted and two raped by dozens of male prisoners who bribed prison guard for access to women’s wing
Twenty eight female Indiana inmates sued Clark County Sheriff’s Department, in Indiana
The plaintiffs were subjected to a ‘night of terror’ where they were sexually assaulted and two were raped by dozens of male prisoners at the Clark County Jail
The male convicts bribed an officer with $1,000 to give them access to women’s wing on the night of October 23, 2021, lawsuit claims
Two civil lawsuits have been filed against Clark County Sheriff’s Department in Jeffersonville, Indiana
Corrections officer, David Lowe, is named in both suits and is also facing a criminal trial later this year
He has been charged with trafficking with an inmate, aiding escape and official misconduct, with his trial set for November 2022
The female inmates claim that Lowe allowed male prisoners into their wing, where they were subjected to harassment and sexual assault
Male prisoners groped the women and exposed their genitals, with at least two inmates being raped – one resulting in pregnancy
Clark County sheriff Jamey Noel has also been named in the suits, as an individual and in his professional capacity
A group of 28 female inmates have filed a lawsuit claiming they were repeatedly raped and attacked in a southern Indiana prison after an officer sold a key to the women’s wing to a male inmate.
Clark County Sheriff’s Department, ex-corrections officer David Lowe and unnamed jail staff in Jeffersonville are being sued by the women in two separate lawsuits.
Lowe is also facing separate felony charges after being arrested last October in connection with the horror incident, where he gave inmates access to secure areas of the jail in exchange for $1,000.
Dozens of women were subjected to a ‘night of terror’ by the male prisoners, which went uninterrupted for at least two hours on 24 October 2021.
The men used the keys given to them by Lowe to access the women’s wing where they covered their faces so they could not be identified, and proceeded to yell and threaten to harm them if they pressed an emergency call button.
Twenty of the women have lodged a lawsuit against Sheriff Jamey Noel in both his individual and professional capacity.
Eight more women, all named as Jane Does, are also suing the Sheriff’s department, Lowe and unnamed jail staff, but they are not suing Sheriff Noel individually.
The civil lawsuits both claim Lowe gave the male prisoners keys to the female jail pods in exchange for money.
Clark County Jail has participated in the A&E fly-on-the-wall reality TV show 60 Days In, in which volunteers pretend to be inmates. A lawyer for the women said that ‘strategic cameras were left in the jail on the day of the incident,’ according to Law & Crime.
“The males threatened, assaulted, and raped the females over the course of multiple hours,” the first lawsuit filed last month on behalf of 20 women says. “The male inmates gained access to the females pods through use of a key provided by corrections officer David Lowe.
“As a direct and proximate cause of the actions of Defendants, [the female inmates] suffered horrific physical and psychological injuries.”
The latest lawsuit, filed Monday, states that the assault began on the night of October 23, 2021 and carried on into the early morning hours of the next day — “resulting in significant physical and emotional injuries [to the plaintiffs].”
“Amazingly, even though there were surveillance cameras positioned in locations that showed the male detainees accessing the woman’s Pods, and even though the incident involved multiple male detainees and dozens of victims over an extended period of time, not a single jail officer on duty that night came to the aid of Plaintiffs and the other victims,” the newer lawsuit alleges.
Attorney William McCall, who represents some of the plaintiffs, revealed that the attacks only came to light after one victim, who is a party to the lawsuit, complained about the incident and was then moved to a different jail.
That woman became pregnant as a result of being raped on the night in question, the attorney said, and later miscarried after she bonded out of custody.
On the night, around 11.30pm two men came in and threatened to kill the women if they tried to call for help from prison staff.
Multiple men then entered the pods, grabbing and groping the female inmates and exposing their genitals to them. Some of the women were forced to hide in the bathroom or ‘dark corners’ of their dormitory.
The alleged attacks lasted for hours, and at least two women were raped during the brutal and sustained attacks.
The civil lawsuit said: ‘As a direct and proximate cause of the actions of Defendants, [the female inmates] suffered horrific physical and psychological injuries.’
Part of the second lawsuit reads: ‘Amazingly, even though there were surveillance cameras positioned in locations that showed the male detainees accessing the woman’s Pods.
‘Even though the incident involved multiple male detainees and dozens of victims over an extended period of time, not a single jail officer on duty that night came to the aid of Plaintiffs and the other victims.’
‘After the attack finally stopped the victims were punished by jail staff losing their ‘dark’ privileges so that ‘lights remained on in the female pods for the next 72 hours’.
Clark County Sheriff’s office reacted to the allegations with a statement that the incident was ‘the result of the unforeseeable criminal actions of a rogue corrections officer.
‘The individual in question chose to abandon his training, ethics and morals and made the unilateral decision to mortgage his career and future by allowing inmate access to the jail keys.’
David Lowe, the ‘rogue officer’, has been charged with trafficking with an inmate, aiding escape and official misconduct, with his trial set for November this year.
Bart Betteau and William McCall III, who represent 20 of the group of women, confirmed that the majority had since ben released from prison.
Betteau said: ‘My belief is that there is video because there always is.
‘We have requested what we can but enough time hasn’t ran for them to have to provide it. We believe that evidence will be available.
‘The first thing we want is changes to be made. This is absolutely horrible. You can feel how horrifying it is when you talk to the women.
‘They were in a place of security, when male inmates barged in there for a number of hours, doing what they want including raping women, and nothing was done about it
‘There are buttons on the inside of the door in case of emergencies, in the main pods to let the jailers know, and nothing.
‘Again this is a video covered area, and they do nothing. They are meant to do standard walkthroughs that jail officers do and nothing.
‘Until you look these women in the eye and hear them talk about it you can’t understand their horror.’
Clark County Sheriff’s department said in its statement that jail command became aware of the incident when a lawyer called to report that his client had informed him that male inmates had obtained the keys and entered the women’s pod.
It said that an immediate investigation began, which included reviewing security video, recorded interviews with all male inmates, corrections officers and more than 40 female inmates.
‘The sheriff’s detective division has continue to interview female inmates who were present in the pod that evening and these interviews have yielded information that is in direct opposition to the allegations made in the civil suit,’ the department said in a statement.
‘Further the investigation seems to indicate that there was a systemic plan by individuals who were incarcerated that evening to develop the narrative that makes up the crux of the claims in the civil case.’
The department added that it a ‘committed to debunking those untruths that have been alleged by those who are attempting to reap financial gain from the crimes of David Lowe’.
Clark County Jail has previously participated in a television show called 60 Days In where volunteers pretend to be incarcerated on the A+E Network. It’s understood that curiously the show, which is currently airing, was not filming during the incident.
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