Female inmates at a jail in Indiana have alleged in a lawsuit that they were raped and assaulted by male inmates who had bribed the jailer to handover the keys to their cell.
Over a dozen female inmates filed the civil lawsuit last week in which they claimed that the former Clark County jail officer, David Lowe, sold his jail key to male inmates for $1,000 each on 23 October 2021.
Eight women filed a federal civil rights complaint against Mr Lowe, while another suit was filed on behalf of 20 women last month, reported the New York Post.
The former jailer also faces criminal charges of trafficking with an inmate, aiding escape and official misconduct.
He is scheduled to face trial on 1 November, reported Fox8.
Court documents say that Mr Lowe, who was on duty on 23 October, gave the male inmates access to the female inmates housing area.
“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,” the lawsuit was quoted as saying by Newsweek.
The male inmates did not come out till the next morning, during which several women claimed that they were harassed and at least two women said that they were allegedly raped.
According to the lawsuits no jail officers came to the women’s aid during the hours-long attack and some were left with significant physical injuries, including “bleeding, vaginal tears, and genital herpes.”
The men allegedly covered their heads with towels to escape identification by surveillance cameras and threatened to harm the women if they shouted for help.
Along with Mr Lowe, the lawsuit also names the sheriff Jamey Noel and accuses him of failing to “properly staff the jail, train the jail officers, and supervise the jail officers to make sure they maintained adequate security at the jail.”
Attorneys for the women said to Fox8 that systemic failures allowed the assailants a free run.
“These systemic failures allowed numerous male assailants to have free run of the jail for several hours, resulting in a night of terror for the plaintiffs and other victims.”