Accused Jailer Faces |Civil Assault Claims

     (CN) – A jail worker charged with repeatedly raping inmates is now facing two civil sexual assault lawsuits from alleged victims.
     Darryl Christensen, a correctional officer at the Polk County Jail in northwestern Wisconsin, pleaded not guilty to five counts of second-degree sexual assault in June.
     Two of the alleged victims in the criminal complaint, identified only as J.K.J. and M.J.J., filed civil lawsuits in the Western Wisconsin district court last week.
     The allegations in the civil complaints closely mirror those in the criminal complaint: 49-year-old Christensen directed female inmates to areas of the jail where there was no recording equipment, and to which he could control access, before penetrating them with his fingers and penis, in addition to requiring them to perform oral sex on him.
     On other occasions, Christensen allegedly “kissed [an inmate] and fondled her breasts under her shirt and bra,” or “directed [inmates] to ‘put on a show’ for him,” after which they claimed they showed him their breasts to avoid getting in trouble.
     He also allegedly forced inmates to watch him masturbate and perform sex acts on one another while he watched, the criminal complaint states.
     S.E.R., another alleged victim in the criminal complaint, said Christensen would direct her and another inmate to remove all their clothes in their cell, then exit to where he could see them.
     “S.E.R. and S.A.L.-M. then came out of the cell, kissed and rubbed their breasts against each other,” the criminal complaint states. S.E.R.’s account of such incidents was reportedly corroborated by those of S.A.L.-M. and S.L.C., another inmate.
     The two alleged victims who filed suit allege penile and finger penetration, forced oral sex and forced observation of Christensen’s masturbation, according to their complaints.
     When investigators told J.K.J. they were there to talk to her about a jailer, she said she knew it was about Christensen and “began to cry, saying she did not want to talk about it and that she was afraid she would get into trouble,” the criminal complaint states. Eventually giving detailed accounts of multiple assaults, J.K.J. reportedly told investigators “she felt obligated, then controlled by the defendant; she further described that she felt ‘powerless.'”
     M.J.J. was assaulted repeatedly by Christensen before again being arrested for DUI, according to the criminal complaint, at which point Christensen allegedly entered her holding cell to provide uniform pants.
     She was still “very intoxicated” when Christensen penetrated her with his penis, then told her not to tell, the criminal complaint states.
     Shortly before the Wisconsin Department of Justice took over the criminal investigation on Nov. 12, 2014, Christensen resigned after working at the jail for more than 19 years, according to the criminal complaint and local news reports.
     The criminal complaint was filed on April 13, 2015 by special agent Joseph Welsch, and signed by prosecutor Robert Kaiser Jr. Christensen is represented in the criminal action by Aaron Nelson.
     In each civil suit, the alleged victims demand damages against Christensen for sexual assault and claim vicarious liability against the Polk County Sheriff’s department for allowing or failing to prevent his behavior.
     J.K.J. and M.J.J seek damages in excess of $75,000, including punitive damages. They are represented in the civil cases by Jeffrey Kemp of Eckberg, Lammers, Briggs, Wolff & Vierling PLLP in Hudson, Wis.

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