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Old 03-29-2004, 09:08 AM
DeniseJJ DeniseJJ is offline
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Post Woman says Fairhope jailer coerced her into having sex

Couple sues over alleged jail rape

Woman says Fairhope jailer coerced her into having sex

03/26/04

By DAN MURTAUGH
Staff Reporter


A woman who says she was coerced into having sex with a Fairhope jailer on Thursday filed a $20 million federal lawsuit in which she also raises concerns about the safety of female inmates.

The 21-year-old woman and her husband filed suit against the city and five Fairhope police employees, including Officer Chad Little, a former jailer. He was fired Dec. 24 for "inappropriate conduct" involving a female inmate, Fairhope Police Chief Chris Browning said in January.

Although the woman is named in the lawsuit, the Mobile Register is withholding her identity due to an on going criminal investigation into the accusation that she is a rape victim.

Browning also is named as a defendant, as is head jailer Buddy Hardy and two other police employees.

Browning and Hardy were not available for comment Thursday because they were out of town at a conference, a Fairhope police dispatcher said.

The Baldwin County Sher iff's Department is conducting the criminal investigation, but District Attorney David Whetstone said Thursday that the investigation has not concluded. No charges have been filed.

The lawsuit accuses Little of using threats and coercion to force the woman to have sexual intercourse or oral sex with him five times between June and December 2003.

It also alleges that she was groped by other inmates, and that men could see into the women's shower. The suit charges that police officials, including Browning, knew about those allegations and did nothing.

Fairhope City Attorney Marion "Tut" Wynne said he had not seen the lawsuit, but his understanding of the incident is that if Little did what he's accused of, he violated written policies.

Therefore Little would be at fault, not the city, Wynne said.

"If (Little) did what he's alleged to have done, it was outside the scope of his employment and in disregard of written policies," Wynne said. "The city does not have any liability or responsibility."

The woman was arrested in March 2001 after she rammed her car into a woman in what law enforcement officers characterized as a squabble over an ex-boyfriend, according to reports.

She was found innocent of attempted murder, but pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in January 2002.

In March 2002, she filed an appeal that was denied in March 2003, after which she began serving her one-year sentence in the Baldwin County Corrections Center in Bay Minette, according to the lawsuit. In April, she was transferred to the Fairhope jail so she could be closer to her cancer-stricken mother, the lawsuit states.

Her first encounter with Little came in either May or June, when he told her "he could make it hard on her but everything will go right if you do right," the lawsuit alleges. She states that he threatened to have her sent to Julia Tutwiler Prison, a state facility for women, in Wetumpka if she told anyone about their conversation.

In June or July, according to the lawsuit, Little coerced the woman into performing oral sex on him. A month later, he coerced her into having intercourse with him in the laundry room, the lawsuit alleges.

Little coerced her to have intercourse three more times, the last time on Dec. 5, according to the lawsuit.

On Dec. 11, the woman told her husband about the incidents, the lawsuit says.

According to the couple's lawyer, Ivan Parker, the woman kept quiet for so long because she "feared for her life."

"She was under pressure not to divulge anything happened," Parker said. "They used fear of being confined to (Tutwiler), where punishment was more strenuous."

According to the lawsuit, the woman went to Thomas Hospital on at least one occasion following a sexual encounter.

Shortly after learning of the alleged abuse, the woman's husband complained to an off-duty Fairhope police lieutenant, who reported it back to Browning, the chief said in January.

After Little's firing, Browning said he turned the criminal investigation over to the Sheriff's Department.
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:13 PM
mariaandtaylor mariaandtaylor is offline
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This is sad but unfortantely so true. I have heard of this happening at other prisons, as well as county jails.
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:31 AM
south1 south1 is offline
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You have to wonder how much of this goes on and is never reported. It would be interesting to hear from anyone that has suffered some type of abuse while incarcerated. I'm sure people are afraid to tell for fear of suffering the consequences.
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