Lawsuit accuses Comanche County jailers of raping, abusing female inmates

by Andrew Knittle Published: March 27, 2013
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Detention officers working at the Comanche County jail routinely rape, assault and sexually abuse female inmates serving time at the lockup in Lawton, a lawsuit filed by several of the women alleges.

The suit, filed last week in federal court, paints a picture of the jail as a haven for rape and other sexually degrading practices.

Fourteen women, many of them with lengthy criminal records, are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

In Comanche County, the jail is run by a private company, not the sheriff's office. Attempts to reach the jail's administrators and county commissioners were not successful.

Attorneys for the women are seeking an unspecified amount of money.

The lawyers say their clients' civil rights were violated due to the repeated sexual assaults the women endured while behind bars.

According to the lawsuit, several guards and other jail employees abused the women over a protracted period of time.

The suit claims women were watched by jail staff as they changed clothes in their cells and showered.

The time frame of the accusations spans from late 2010 to just a few weeks ago, court records show.

Among the claims

Nachea “Cleo” Hill, 39, who served time at the Comanche County jail in 2011, claimed in the suit that a former guard requested oral sex “in exchange for a food tray' at one point.

“This caused Ms. Hill to avoid eating during the duration of her incarceration in fear of sexual advances,” the lawsuit states.

Barbara Horton, 49, claims to have been sexually assaulted before spending even one night in the jail.

“Ms. Horton was asked by a female guard to bend over during her booking,” the suit states. “At that time a male guard began to sodomize her under the guise of a cavity search.”

Another inmate, 57-year-old Rosemary Queton, claims to have been violated in the booking area of the jail.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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