Lawsuit alleges prison counselor sexually assaulted female inmate

SHARE Lawsuit alleges prison counselor sexually assaulted female inmate

Sun-Times file photo

A 29-year-old former inmate at the Logan Correctional Center alleges she was sexually assaulted repeatedly by a counselor at the prison in a federal lawsuit filed Friday by the Uptown People’s Law Center.

“Jane Doe” –– who wanted to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation –– said the correctional counselor would “regularly expose himself to her and make sexual comments to her while she was on the phone with her daughter.”

Logan center’s warden, Margaret Burke, and an official who worked for internal affairs, are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges the attacks started when Doe was released from segregation at the Lincoln-based center.

She had to go through the counselor to get phone calls to her daughter reinstated and receive a work assignment.

On two occasions, the counselor “coerced her to have non-consensual sexual intercourse with him and on two other occasions he coerced her to perform non-consensual oral sex on him,” according to the lawsuit.

The harassment and assaults went on for about eight months –– from August 2016 until April 2017 –– when Doe was assigned a new counselor, the lawsuit says.

After an interview with the internal affairs employees, an alleged friend of the counselor’s, Doe was transferred to Decatur Correctional Center –– a move that lawyers say was in retaliation for Doe speaking out.

Lindsey Hess, a spokeswoman with the Illinois Department of Corrections, said she could not comment on pending litigation or personnel issues.

Megan Groves, a spokeswoman for the Uptown People’s Law Center, said Doe’s experiences weren’t isolated incidents.

The counselor remains on the job despite the lawsuit and an ongoing investigation by Illinois State Police into other allegations of assault, Groves said.

“Our client has said she’s spoken with others who say he’s done this to them,” Groves said. “Fear of retribution was a concern for her. Our client becoming free played a huge role in her coming forward.”

Doe is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

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