Ellsworth Correctional Officer Charged with Sexual Assault of Inmate
34-year-old correctional officer James Faulkner is facing several criminal charges after an inmate of the Robert E. Ellsworth Correctional Facility told authorities that he sexually assaulted, choked, and threatened her.
The inmate told investigators that Faulkner forced her to perform sexual acts. Faulkner reportedly admitted to having sexual contact with the inmate in an interview with officials from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.
The corrections officer has been booked into the Racine County Jail and is charged with delivering an illegal article to an institution, misconduct in office, strangulation and suffocation, intimidating a victim, and three counts of 2nd-degree sexual assault by correctional staff.
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Previous Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by Wisconsin Prison Staff
The allegations against Faulkner are not the first case of alleged sexual abuse involving staff members at Wisconsin prisons. According to a report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin prison officials investigated 132 claims of staff sexually abusing or harassing inmates in one year.
One of those cases involved another employee of the Ellsworth Correctional Institution, nurse Jeremy Deppisch. Deppisch was charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault by correctional staff and other offenses in 2018. He is also accused of providing the victim with medication that she did not have a prescription for. That case is still pending, as of July 2019.
Legal Recourse For Inmates Sexually Assaulted by Prison Staff
Hi, I’m attorney Brian Kent. At Abuse Guardian, our team of former sex crimes prosecutors have dedicated their careers to standing by survivors of sexual violence in their fights for justice. After beginning our careers in the criminal justice field, we now represent survivors in civil lawsuits. Here is some information on the legal rights of inmates who have been sexually assaulted in correctional facilities:
Although inmates may lose certain freedoms when they go to jail, they still have rights. No inmate should ever be forced to endure sexual harassment or sexual assault when behind bars, especially from staff members. But sadly, cases of prison staff sexually abusing inmates are far too common. When this happens, these victims have rights, and in many cases, may have grounds for a lawsuit against the facility.
Prison staff members are in positions of power over the inmates they oversee. This means that any sexual contact between staff members and inmates is illegal. Staff members who exploit their power in order to sexually assault inmates must be held accountable and the inmates who have been assaulted deserve justice.
Inmates who have been sexually assaulted may have the right to file a lawsuit if the assault was due to negligence. For example, this may be the case if the prison is found to have a culture of sexual assault with numerous instances of staff members abusing inmates.
Each prison sexual assault case has unique circumstances. If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by a corrections officer or another prison employee, we advise speaking with an experienced sexual assault victims attorney to learn more about your legal options.
Location of Robert Ellsworth Correctional in Dover, WI
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