Arizona Jail Guard Accused of Sex Assaults

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (CN) – An Arizona jail guard in remote Mohave County strip-searched and sexually assaulted detainees, two women claim in court.
     In a federal lawsuit, Cristi Tutty and Tina Artiglio claim they were assaulted in 2012 by former Mohave County Sheriff’s Department detention officer Shannon Correll at the Mohave County Vanderslice Jail Substation.
     Mohave County is northwest Arizona. It borders Utah and Nevada. Its seat is Kingman.
     The women sued the county, its Sheriff Tom Sheahan, jail commander Bruce Brown, and Shannon Michael Correll. They sued Brown and Correll individually and in their official capacity, the sheriff only in his official capacity.
     The women claim the defendants failed to supervise 25-year-old Correll and that the substation jail is inappropriate for female detainees.
     Correll pleaded guilty in November 2012 to unlawful sexual conduct with Tutty; three other felony charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement, according to the complaint.
     Correll, of Bullhead City, later pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with Artiglio, and was sentenced to prison, the complaint states.
     The Kingman Daily Miner reported this year that Correll’s sentencing in the first case was postponed after he was indicted a second time.
     Correll was charged with unlawful sexual conduct and false imprisonment in Tutty’s case, and with kidnapping and unlawful sexual intercourse with Artiglio, according to the newspaper.
     In the lawsuit, Tutty claims that while she was being detained overnight for a domestic disturbance in August 2012, Correll took her to a storage shed at the substation, forced her to strip naked and propositioned her several times.
     Correll had taken Artiglio to the same shed about a month earlier, according the to complaint.
     “On July 6, 2012, Ms. Artiglio was arrested for an alleged traffic warrant and transported to the Mohave County Sheriff Department’s Vanderslice Substation in Mohave Valley,” the lawsuit states. “When Ms. Artiglio was being booked into the jail Detention Officer Correll began telling her how ‘sexy’ she was, that she had the ‘hottest body’ he had ever seen, and he asked her if she ‘wanted to play and have some fun’. Ms. Artiglio tried to ignore Correll but she could not get him to stop harassing her. Officer Correll then instructed Ms. Artiglio to go with him to the laundry room to get some jail clothes. Ms. Artiglio began to get suspicious and feel uncomfortable, telling him that there were a lot of cameras and someone might see; however, he told her that no one watches the cameras and there were no cameras past the smoking area. Officer Correll told her that he could also erase the video from the cameras and if anyone asked, he would just say he was on a smoke break. Ms. Artiglio then acquiesced to Officer Correll’s authority and went with him.
     “When the two entered the laundry room, which is located in the storage shed outside of the main station where Officer Correll later took plaintiff Tutty, Officer Correll told Ms. Artiglio to sit on the washing machine and she complied. Correll undid his pants and proceeded to masturbate. He ejaculated towards Ms. Artiglio and then approached her and pushed her backwards onto the washing machine, lifted up her dress and began to have sexual intercourse with her, which was forceful and lasted approximately 20 to 30 minutes. No protection was used. She did not perform oral sex on him, but believes he performed oral sex on her. Although Ms. Artiglio never said, ‘No’ and did not yell out for help, she was scared and felt like she had no choice but to endure the assault as she did not know what he would do to her if she denied his advances. Ms. Artiglio refused to talk dirty to Correll when he asked her to. Moreover, Ms. Artiglio refused to show Officer Correll her breasts when he asked to see them. He did, though, end up taking off her bra, which he placed with her other clothing items after the assault.”
     Both women reported Correll to the authorities. He was fired, and eventually pleaded guilty to the assaults, according to the complaint. The investigation revealed that Correll had bragged about his exploits.
     “Inmates also told the detective(s) that they had witnessed Officer Correll make sexual advances towards at least two other female detainees on other nights and that he had bragged to the male inmates about having had sexual intercourse in the shed with at least one of those female inmates,” the complaint states. (Parentheses in complaint.)
     Tutty and Artiglio seeks damages for unreasonable search and seizure, unlawful sexual conduct, assault and battery, infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy. They also want an injunction to prohibit the sheriff from detaining women in the substation jail.
     Mohave County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Trish Carter told Courthouse News the department does not comment on pending litigation.
     The women are represented by Lee Phillips of Flagstaff.

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