Inmates raped after guard sold their cell key

Women detained in a US prison have filed a complaint after experiencing a "night of terror", a guard who, according to them, sold access to their cell to male prisoners who assaulted and raped them.

Inmates raped after guard sold their cell key

Women detained in a US prison have filed a complaint after experiencing a "night of terror", a guard who, according to them, sold access to their cell to male prisoners who assaulted and raped them.

On October 23, 2021, shortly before midnight, several inmates of the Clark County jail in Indiana broke into the women's quarters, according to two complaints recently filed in federal court.

These men, who had covered their faces with sheets and towels, "threatened, harassed, intimidated, assaulted" them for hours. At least two of them were raped, write the lawyers of 28 women.

According to them, the prisoners had obtained a key to the female dormitories from a guard, David Lowe. One of the complaints, brought by eight anonymous detainees, accuses him of having received 1000 dollars in exchange for this key.

"Curiously, despite the presence of surveillance cameras (...), not a single one of the guards that night came to the aid" of the dozens of victims, note its authors.

Worse, according to the complainants, when one of them finally dared to call for help, they were punished.

A guard, who arrived just after the men had left, deprived the prisoners of their "right to the dark", ordering them to keep the lights on for 72 hours. In the following days, several of their personal items (pillows, pencils, etc.) were confiscated.

These women are asking the court for damages for “the violation of their civil rights” and to organize a federal trial for the guard David Lowe, but also the county sheriff who, according to them, failed in his duty to ensure their safety.

The guard has already been suspended and charged by Indiana justice for "failure to perform" and "agreement with an inmate".

Contacted by AFP, the sheriff did not respond.

With more than two million prisoners, the United States has the largest prison population of all democracies. Their prisons are regularly criticized and many guards are punished each year for various abuses.

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