Former Corrections Officer Accused of Sexual Misconduct
An inmate at Indiana Women’s Prison alleged she was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of an Indiana Department of Corrections Officer in October of 2014 and January 2015. The accused, 55 year-old Lamont Williams, was charged Monday with 2 counts of sexual misconduct and one charge of official misconduct. He was booked into Marion County Jail after failing a polygraph and after a sample of his DNA matched the DNA sample provided by the inmate. The inmate spoke to an internal affairs officer at the facility, and that individual contacted the State Police, who began their investigation into the incidents in July of 2015. Williams has admitted to sexual activity with the inmate and says she pursued him. This is likely to have little bearing on the case since corrections officials are forbidden from sexual contact with prisoners at all time.
Williams was initially hired at the Plainfield Correctional Facility in March 2007 but served at the Indiana Women’s Prison from late 2012 to early 2015. He was not placed on administrative leave, and though the Indiana Department of Corrections says they do not have any reason to believe there were other victims, there are some questions as to why he would have been allowed to continue in his post for a full year during the investigation. Lamont Williams was fired by on February 1, 2016.
Nearly one in ten prisoners is a victim of sexual abuse while incarcerated, and approximately half of those are victims of corrections officers or other corrections facility staff. The number of reports of sexual abuse is assumed to be lower than the actual number of assaults, as reporting is often not taken seriously and/or can have negative consequences for the victim, especially if still incarcerated. A 2014 Bureau of Justice Statistics report shows an eleven percent increase in prisoner allegations of sexual victimization from 2007-08 to 2011, but statisticians say this may not be an increase in actual assaults but instead an increase in reporting and the seriousness with which sexual crimes are now being considered. The 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act had provided a hopeful moment for those actively engaged in the fight against sexual crimes against prisoners; however, it took nearly a decade for final regulations to be released, and only a few states were ready to comply as of 2015. Even worse, some states like Texas have challenged the Act and refused to comply.
We have previously blogged about filing a lawsuit for prison abuse and how important it is to have strong legal representation, especially given the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which restricts prisoner lawsuits and gives courts the right to dismiss any prison lawsuit it deems frivolous or malicious. If you or your loved ones have been subjected to sexual abuse, or any other type of abuse in prison, you can file a lawsuit seeking damages for prison negligence. Wagner Reese injury attorneys have decades of experience they can use to represent you in prison negligence cases. Our injury attorneys experience is extensive in fighting these cases and delivering compensation to victims of civil rights violations.
Contact us at (888) 204-8440 for a free consultation.