Inmate Claims She Was Ordered to|’Sting’ Prison Officer Who Abused Her

INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – A state prison inmate says a “correctional counselor” who dealt contraband to prisoners sexually abused her at Rockville Correctional Facility, and when she reported it she was told to participate in a sting operation, during which he sexually abused her again.

     Sovayda Vasquez says Jerry Heitzman sexually assaulted in the prison, abusing his authority to get her alone, “ordering her into closed spaces where he kissed her, fondled her breasts and penetrated her vagina with his fingers.”
     When another inmate witnessed the assault, she says Heitzman gave the inmate tobacco to keep her quiet.
     Vasquez says she told internal affairs investigator Jerry Newlin about the assault, and said that Heitzman was “trafficking in tobacco and Benadryl” as well.
     She says Newlin asked her to help catch Heitzman in a sting, and when she said that she feared Heitzman would hurt her again, Newlin “ordered her to participate in the ‘sting’ operation” anyway.
     Vasquez says that when she went to work to buy contraband from Heitzman, as part of the sting, he sexually assaulted her again. He was arrested and charged with sexual misconduct, according to the complaint.
     Vasquez says that she has “experienced untold emotional suffering” because of the assaults. She sued the State of Indiana and Newlin in Marion County Court. She did not sue Heitzman, whose name is also spelled Heizman and Heiztman (in successive paragraphs) in the complaint.
     Vasquez adds that she had told Newlin about an inmate’s plan to escape with help from a correctional officer with whom the person had a sexual relationship. She says Newlin did not take any action, and the inmate did escape, which was on “America’s Most Wanted.”
     She seeks punitive damages for negligence, false imprisonment and emotional distress. She is represented by Jeffrey McQuary with Brown Tompkins Lory.

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