According to AP News, a corrections sergeant at an Arizona State Prison in Florence faces accusations of crimes including sexual assault, kidnapping, and sexual abuse.
47-year-old Jason McClelland faces charges from two accusers. There are potentially other possible victims who refuse to talk out of fear of retaliation or repercussions at work. The details of these allegations have not been released.
McClelland was arrested and placed in custody at Pinal County Jail in Florence.
Attorney contributor Kevin Biniazan, a sexual abuse lawyer, represents victims and their families in sexual abuse civil lawsuits. In an interview, we asked Kevin to provide insight into the legal rights of victims sexually abused by a correctional officer.
Kevin stated, “prisons and officers have a legal duty to uphold the safety of the people in prison and the employees. Unfortunately, predators often place themselves in positions of power and trust to exploit their victims. Authorities must ensure safety and try their best to prevent these predators from being in the workplace.”
“The victim sexually abused by a prison guard or police officer should ask if the station or prison did everything possible to prevent sexual abuse. Some sexual abuse cases occur as a result of negligence on behalf of the station or authorities. The prison could be considered negligent in a sexual abuse case if the victims’ lawyer can prove negligence. An example of negligence is if prior sexual misconduct reports were ignored, and the officer was still permitted to work at the facility. In such cases of negligence, the victim and their family should know they may have grounds for a civil against the station or facility and receive compensation.”