Jury rules against Milwaukee County Jail

Sheriff Clarke. By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America
Sheriff Clarke. By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America

MILWAUKEE- A jury has ruled in favor of a former inmate of Milwaukee County Jail, awarding her $6.7 million after she was repeatedly raped by a guard. The jury also found that there is “no legitimate government purpose” for shackling inmates during childbirth, another complaint of the plaintiff. Sheriff David Clarke had defended the practice, stating that shackling was a necessary to protect hospital staff.

John Diedrich at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

A federal jury Wednesday awarded $6.7 million to a woman who was raped repeatedly by a guard when she was being held in the Milwaukee County Jail four years ago.

The guard, Xavier Thicklen, was acting under his scope of employment when the sexual assaults occurred and therefore Milwaukee County is liable for the damages amount, the jury determined.

The jury also found there was “no legitimate government purpose” to shackle the woman during childbirth labor, but jurors did not find she was injured and therefore awarded her no monetary damages, according to Theresa Kleinhaus, a Chicago attorney who litigated the case with other attorneys from the firm.

Kleinhaus said her client was pleased with the verdicts. The plaintiff is not being named because she was a victim of a sexual assault.

“She was raped repeatedly at the age of 19. She sought justice and she is glad the system delivered that justice,” Kleinhaus said. “She hopes to prevent other women from being sexually assaulted in the Milwaukee County Jail.”

Officials from Milwaukee County did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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