Inmate reveals prison counselor sexually assaulted her after she reported a guard for repeated rapes

The woman said that, when she complained about the rape routine to a mental health counselor, he sexually assaulted her himself


                            Inmate reveals prison counselor sexually assaulted her after she reported a guard for repeated rapes

After serving a six-year prison term at the Chillicothe Correctional Center, inmate Karen Backues Keil still battles the stress and sorrow associated with “the hell” of being raped more than 20 times by a prison guard.

Shockingly, Keil recently revealed that, when she complained about the rape routine to a mental health counselor, he sexually assaulted her, too.



This week, a federal lawsuit has been filed against the said guard, the counselor, some employees who supervised them for the Missouri Department of Corrections and a department contractor. The suit outlines all of Keil's allegations.

“I can’t get over it," Keil said. "It’s there every second of the day. I have to think about it and I have to fight those thoughts in my head that I deserved this. And I didn’t. Nobody deserves what I went through.”

During a phone interview with the Kansas City Star this Tuesday, Keil said, “It was hell."

More than a year has passed since Keil was released from jail but, according to her, she continues to fight the mental and physical trauma that left her scarred for life.

"I thought I could shove all this down inside me and not have to think about it again, but it just doesn’t work that way,” Keil said.

Prison guard Edward Bearden has been accused of a series of criminal charges right from inappropriate frisking in which he repeatedly groped her breasts and bottom to continuous rapes from 2012 to 2015 that left Keil shattered from within.



According to the suit, Bearden still works at the 1,640-inmate, mixed-custody women’s facility. On Tuesday, Kansas City Star tried to reach him for comment but he did not respond.

A spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Corrections said that it was not possible for the department to comment on an ongoing investigation which has a pending litigation.

The lawsuit also states that, after Keil was transferred to a different part of the facility away from Bearden, he was stubborn and kept asking other inmates about her, going to the extent of sending her a card "expressing his feelings for her" from outside the penitentiary.



Bearden kept trying to find her whereabouts by asking other inmates after she was released from incarceration in February last year. He also asked them where she might be working and whether she was married.

Due to the abuse inflicted by the prison guard, Keil had to seek counseling while still serving her sentence. However, within a month of therapy sessions with counselor John Thomas Dunn, Keil's lawsuit states that he also started harassing her sexually.

According to Keil, many a time, the counselor would recount the assaults as part of her therapy and re-enact them, asking her things like "Did Bearden do it like this?"

Dunn cautioned her that if she reported the sexual harassment Bearden caused her to the Department of Corrections, she would be thrown into solitary confinement.

“I was afraid I would not get to see my daughter and husband for a very long time,” Keil said. “I knew if I reported these horrific acts to anyone else, that I would be the one who would be punished. The one person I did report to started assaulting me as well.”

On Tuesday, the accused counselor did not respond to a phone message left by Kansas City Star at his home.



Dunn is scheduled to be sentenced on June 12 after pleading guilty to sexual misconduct allegations with a prisoner. A prosecutor has recommended a four-year suspended prison sentence in that case, according to Chillicothe News.

That being said, John Ammann, the attorney representing Keil, said that his client was not the victim in that case.

An attorney representing Dunn in the said criminal case, Lance Sandage, asserted that he and Dunn had not reviewed the complaint in detail after having discussed the suit with each other.

“We have no comment at this time,” Sandage said.

The horror counselor was working for Corizon Health when he was charged. The company had the contract to handle health care in all the penitentiaries of Missouri. That being said, according to Keil's lawsuit, Dunn was working for MHM Services at the time of his assault, which was Chillicothe prison's previous mental health contractor. 

An attorney from St Louis representing the Virginia-based company, which is also mentioned as a defendant in the lawsuit, did not respond to a request for comment by Kansas City Star on Tuesday.

In July 2011, while serving her sentence for forgery and theft, Keil was transferred to the Chillicothe prison.

Keil says after getting the therapy that she needed, she is determined to speak up for others who are being abused in the prison system.

While claiming that she had nightmares about Bearden and Dunn for several weeks after getting out, Keil felt empowered to speak out after seeing a therapist outside of prison, she said.