Former Ohio Inmate Files Lawsuit Alleging She Was Refused Medication and Raped by Jailers


A female former inmate of the Warren County Jail in Ohio filed a lawsuit Friday alleging that during her 11-day incarceration in 2013, two corrections officers raped her, and on one occasion they assaulted her with so much force that they “shattered” her shoulder bones.


The Washington Post reports that according to the suit, on her final day in jail, the 38-year-old Cincinnati woman was found naked in her cell, crying and mumbling. At one point, the suit alleges, she was so desperate for help that she attempted to write the words, “God, please help me” in her own blood on her jail-cell wall.

In her lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, the woman sued two corrections officers and seven nurses, including the jail’s health-services administrator.

From the Post:

The woman was held at the jail in May 2013, after turning herself in on a four-year-old warrant for deception to obtain drugs. The lawsuit alleges the jail’s nurses refused to give the woman her prescribed medicine for her epilepsy, causing her to experience seizures and withdrawal, leaving her debilitated in her jail cell. Incapacitated and unable to defend herself, her jailers allegedly Tased her, took away her clothing, turned off her running water and forced her to drink out of the toilet.

The lawsuit alleges that the woman was “left naked, covered in her own blood and feces.”

Warren County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Barry K. Riley released the following statement (pdf) Monday:

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office does not comment upon pending legal matters. We believe strongly in pursuing legal matters in the Courts, not the media. However, none of the citizens of Warren County should take our silence about the lawsuit filed by one of our former inmates as an indication that there is any truth to her allegations. We look forward to defending this case to a conclusion.


Because she is an alleged victim of a sexual assault, the name of the female inmate is being withheld.

When she was admitted to the jail May 3, 2013, she was screened for medical conditions and informed the jail medical staff of her epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, battered woman syndrome and depression. The suit alleges that nurses lied to her attorney and the head of the jail about giving her anti-seizure medication, when, in fact, they had not.


The suit claims that she experienced more seizures, anxiety and depression as a result of not having her medication and after four days in the jail, she became too ill to call her family or attend a bond hearing. Even after the jail’s doctor ordered that she be given the medications, the suit alleges, the nurses did not carry out the doctor’s orders.

The Post reports that after seven days in jail, she was taken to a hospital, where tests showed sperm in her urine—an indication that she had had sexual intercourse in jail. Even with that evidence, none of the jail’s nurses alerted security, the lawsuit claims; nor did they take any action to protect her from further sexual assault.


More from the Post:

The woman claims she was raped by three corrections officers, although she was only able to identify and name one, after drawing a sketch of her alleged perpetrator while in treatment at a rape crisis center after leaving the jail. The sketch closely resembled the named corrections officer, who in an earlier lawsuit, raised “consent” as a defense, according to court records.


Jennifer L. Branch, the woman’s attorney, wrote that the woman is suing not just for “fair compensation” but to make sure that “no one else is tortured at the Warren County Jail.”

After 11 days of incarceration, the woman was transferred to a Cincinnati psychiatric facility on May 14, 2013. According to the lawsuit, she was diagnosed with psychosis related to the trauma of the sexual assault she endured at the Warren County Jail.


According to the Post, she was treated and found stable enough to be released on July 11, 2013.

Read more at the Washington Post.


Edfonzo Algardo

This is hard to read and deeply unsettling, but so, so important. How we treat those we incarcerate is a reflection of who we are.