Nearly 30 female inmates at an Indiana jail said they were raped by male detainees, who bribed guards into allowing the “night of terror,” two recent lawsuits allege.
On Friday July 22, eight women filed a lawsuit against Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel and several current and former Clark County Jail officers.
The suit comes a month after another lawsuit was filed by 20 other women regarding the alleged incident, Yahoo! News reports, citing court records.
The incident in question reportedly occurred back on October 23, 2021, when the lawsuits state jail officer David Lowe gave two male inmates the keys to the interior of the jail in exchange for $1,000.
Jail Guard Took Bribe Of $1,000 To Allow Male Inmates Access To Women’s Cells
Later that evening, the two male inmates and other male detainees accessed restricted areas of the jail, where females are housed, the lawsuit states.
“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 filed in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Indiana says.
In a joint prison of male and female prisoners, a bribe of only $1k to corrections officer David Lowe by male inmates was all that was needed to get the keys to open the gates in-between. They raped for hours
There were cameras no one came to help the women. pic.twitter.com/TSEt6jcuPJ
— Aubry Andrews 🦝 (@AubryAndrews) July 27, 2022
The male inmates allegedly threatened to hurt the women if they pressed the emergency call button. Meanwhile, the outlet reports that no jail officers or guards intervened on their behalf or came to their aid despite the incident being captured on surveillance camera.
Clark County Sheriff’s Department has yet to comment on the lawsuit.
Jail Officer Fired Days After Incident, Charged With Aiding Escape, Official Misconduct
Lowe was fired just days after the alleged incident and charged with official misconduct, trafficking with an inmate, and aiding escape, according to WDRB.
Lowe, who reportedly admitted to accepting the $1000 bribe and giving the male inmates access to restricted areas in the jail, has a criminal jury trial scheduled for September, per WHAS.
“Women were harassed, sexually assaulted, threatened, and completely terrified,” Bart Betteau, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs, told WTHR. “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.”
As of Wednesday, no rape charges have been filed.
20 women filed a lawsuit. Clark County jail in a US District Court in Indiana. 24 Oct 21 CO David Lowe sold the use of his key to male inmates who raped the women over the course of multiple hours.
In Canada they just let them in. @RealLyndaCarterhttps://t.co/lml9AvMD5B pic.twitter.com/82jHG7McIR
— LegalBirbAus (@LBirb1) July 10, 2022
Female Inmates Punished Following Incident, No Rape Charges Filed As Of Yet
The female inmates were actually punished following the incident, with jail staff leaving the lights on for three days straight and confiscating blankets, pillows and hygiene items.
“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.
All 28 women are seeking both compensatory damages in civil court as well as criminal jury trials for the officers and inmates involved in the incident, according to Yahoo! News.
Indiana jails have been in the news for all the wrong reasons as of late, with The Shade Room reporting exclusive video and details last week regarding the 2021 death of Taneasha Chappell, a 23-year-old woman who mysteriously died in custody at an Indiana jail, with fellow inmates admitting to poisoning her food with cleaning fluid.