The civil lawsuit, which began in April of 2011, involved 13 female inmates who were victimized over a two year period inside the LaRue County Detention Center (LCDC). The women, who ranged in age from mid-20s to early 50s, were each incarcerated for varying periods and lengths of time between 2008 and 2010.
The Complaint filed on behalf of the 13 Plaintiffs claimed, among other things, that while the Plaintiffs were incarcerated in the LCDC, Defendants, Travis Strader and Harold Marcum, mistreated, harassed, assaulted, forcibly raped, and forced the Plaintiffs to perform sexual acts. Claims of battery, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress were alleged against Defendants Strader and Marcum.
Bahe Cook Cantley and Nefzger’s very own Vanessa Cantley and Nathan Williams were among those representing the 13 female plaintiffs in this case. A settlement agreement was reached between all of the parties involved in May of this year, resulting in an $850,000.00 final judgment against the Defendants. Both of the Defendants also faced criminal charges in LaRue Circuit Court for their conduct.
A National Inmate Survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that from 2011 to 2012, 1.8% of jail inmates across the US were victims of sexual misconduct by jail staff (source: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svpjri1112.pdf). In Kentucky alone, from 2011 to 2012, the percentage of prison inmates reporting sexual victimization by members of the prison staff jumps to an average of 4.3%. With a prison population of roughly 21,000 in Kentucky at the time of the survey, the results suggest that around 900 inmates reported being victims of staff sexual misconduct.
Bahe Cook Cantley and Nefzger is currently reviewing and accepting more of these claims.