Milwaukee County Jail inmate testifies against abusive guard

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MILWAUKEE- An 19-year-old women has filed a federal lawsuit against Milwaukee County over abuses at the jail. Xavier Thicklen, former corrections officer at the Milwaukee County Jail, has been accused of raping the woman several times. The woman, who was pregnant when she entered the jail, also testified that she was shackled while giving birth. Sheriff Clarke has since defended the practice of shackling inmates during labor in court documents.

John Diedrich at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

A 19-year-old woman testifying in a federal civil trial described Monday how a guard sexually assaulted her in the Milwaukee County Jail in 2013 and how she later was shackled to her hospital bed while giving birth to her daughter.

Those events are the basis of a federal lawsuit by the woman against Milwaukee County. She testified that she was raped several times by corrections officer Xavier Thicklen. The Journal Sentinel does not identify victims of sexual assault without their consent. . .

The trial comes as the Sheriff’s Office deals with multiple legal issues and Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. plans to leave for a job in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The woman was pregnant when she was booked into the jail and the sexual assaults started.

The woman described how she was shackled as she went through labor in late 2013. She was admitted to Aurora Sinai Medical Center at 3 a.m. and delivered a baby girl, who was healthy, 20 hours later.

Clarke said in court documents that shackling is required to protect hospital staff. The lawsuit says such a policy is unconstitutional and can harm the mother and child.

Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.