‘Night of Terror’: Lawsuit Alleges Female Inmates Were Sexually Assaulted for Hours in Indiana Jail
A civil rights lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of eight women who allege that they were subjected to hours of abuse by male inmates while incarcerated in an Indiana jail.
On October 24, 2021, the suit says, Clark County Jail officer David Lowe gave two male inmates the keys to the female housing areas of the jail. Lowe had allegedly accepted a $1,000 bribe from the men. A group of male inmates then allegedly proceeded to rape, assault, harass, and threaten female inmates for several hours, in what the lawsuit calls a “night of terror.” No jail officers came to the women’s aid during this time.
According to the suit, when a group of women complained about their treatment, jail officers retaliated by revoking the women’s “dark” privileges—that is, by keeping the lights on for 72 hours. The officers also confiscated the female inmates’ personal items including pillows, blankets, and hygiene products.
Lowe currently faces criminal charges of trafficking, aiding escape, and official misconduct.
This is the second lawsuit filed in connection to this incident. An earlier suit, filed in June on behalf of 20 women, alleges similar civil rights violations. Both suits say that officers failed to help the women even though their assaults were easily visible on security cameras.
The plaintiffs face an uphill battle. Even if the accusations are true, the doctrine of qualified immunity may protect the correctional officers. Their alleged actions may seem obviously to violate the women’s constitutional rights, but qualified immunity has protected police officers and prison guards
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