Negligence Blamed|for Jailhouse Rape

     (CN) – A Georgia woman claims in a federal lawsuit that the city of Milledgeville’s negligence in staffing its jail led directly to her sexual assault by a detention officer.
     In a complaint filed on June 3, Christie Hawkins says she that on the night she was attacked by detention officer Jeffrey Bernard — June 4, 2013 — the city had assigned only one officer to be on duty in a facility that housed women inmates.
     She says watched the hallway until he noticed the other female inmate in the shower, and then proceeded to enter the jail’s “Day area,” where she was sitting.
     “He came into the area under the pretense of placing an ‘Out of Order’ sign on the Toilet,” the complaint says. He then proceeded to sexually assault her.
     Brown was arrested and fired from the department, and since his conviction, he had been a registered sex offender.
     Nevertheless, Hawkins says she still suffers from the incident.
     The complaint says she “sustained serious injury and continues to suffer mentally and has sustained economic loss with the fear of being sexually abused while employed.”
     “As a result of Defendant MPD’s deliberate indifference to the risk posed by having only Detention Brown on duty the night of June 4, 2013 with female inmates, Defendant MPD failed to adequately and properly supervise Defendant Brown in his capacity as a Detention Officer and he did not follow the policy of the Defendant MPD,” the complaint says.
     The Defendants in the case are Bernard, Milledgeville Mayor Jeanette H. Walden, and the Milledgeville Police Department.
     Hawkins seeks actual, general, nominal and punitive damages on claims of violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and the Georgia state constitution.
     She is represented by Atlanta attorney Latoya Hutchinson.
     Representatives of the mayor and police department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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