A convicted child molester and rapist has filed a civil rights lawsuit against a Washington state county claiming they failed to protect him from being forcibly raped by another inmate while in Garfield County jail.
The plaintiff, who remains unnamed by the Union Bulletin due to a policy of not naming victims of sexual assault, was held in a cell with inmate John Markwell in August 2011.
Markwell was abusive and intimidating towards him, and he informed jail personnel that he feared for his safety, according to the complaint filed in Walla Walla County Superior Court.
The complaint states that beginning on August 20, 2011, Markwell forcibly raped the unnamed plaintiff at least three times.
On May 9, 2012, Markwell was convicted on three counts of forcible rape by a jury. He was sentenced to life without parole.
The plaintiff claims in the lawsuit that he has suffered and continues to suffer from severe emotional distress, including nightmares and anxiety, because of the jail rapes.
“People who are incarcerated are extremely vulnerable. Prison rape and jail rape are huge problem,” Lee Rousso, the plainiff’s attorney, said. “From my perspective these are extremely serious allegations, and I hope that Garfield County will take them seriously.”
The amount of money the plaintiff seeks as damages will be determined at trial, reports kirotv.
The plaintiff was in jail on charges of rape of a child and child molestation. He pleaded guilty to both and is currently serving a 10 years to life sentence at Monroe Corrections Center.
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