NIGHT OF TERROR: 28 female Clark County jail inmates horrifically assaulted after officer David Lowe SELLS keys to male prisoners
David Lowe is facing separate felony charges after being arrested for the incident last October
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CLARK COUNTY, INDIANA: Twenty-eight female inmates in a southern Indiana prison have claimed that they were repeatedly sexually assaulted and attacked by male prisoners after an officer sold a key to the women's wing to one of the men. The women have sued Clark County Sheriff's Department, ex-corrections officer David Lowe and unnamed jail staff in Jeffersonville in two separate lawsuits.
While 28 women have lodged a lawsuit against Sheriff Jamey Noel in both his individual and professional capacity, eight others referred to as Jane Does are also suing the Sheriff's department, Lowe and unnamed jail staff. However, they are not suing Sheriff Noel individually. Both the lawsuits claimed Lowe gave the men keys to the female jail pods in exchange for money. A lawyer for the women said that "strategic cameras were left in the jail on the day of the incident," Law & Crime reported. Lowe was later arrested and fired.
Who is David Lowe?
Not much is known about Lowe except that he is facing separate felony charges after being arrested for the incident last October. He reportedly gave inmates access to the prison's secure areas in exchange for $1,000. The women claimed they were subjected to a 'night of terror' by male prisoners, who sexually assaulted and raped them. In October last year, such horror lasted for at least two hours, uninterrupted. The men used the key provided by Lowe to access the women's cell. They allegedly covered their faces to avoid being identified and threatened to harm the women if they pressed an emergency button.
On the day of the incident, the men entered the women's cell and grabbed and groped them, and also exposed their genitals. Some of the women claimed they had to hide in the bathroom or 'dark corners' of their dormitory. The attack allegedly lasted for hours. At least two women were raped.
"As a direct and proximate cause of the actions of Defendants, [the female inmates] suffered horrific physical and psychological injuries," the civil lawsuit said. Part of the second lawsuit reads, "Amazingly, even though there were surveillance cameras positioned in locations that showed the male detainees accessing the woman's pods. Even though the incident involved multiple male detainees and dozens of victims over an extended period of time, not a single jail officer on duty that night came to the plaintiffs and the other victims."
Following the attack, the victims were punished by jail staff so that "lights remained on in the female pods for the next 72 hours". In a statement to the Daily Mail, Clark County Sheriff's office defended itself saying the incident was "the result of the unforeseeable criminal actions of a rogue corrections officer." "The individual in question chose to abandon his training, ethics, and morals and made the unilateral decision to mortgage his career and future by allowing inmate access to the jail keys," the statement said. Lowe was charged with trafficking with an inmate, aiding escape, and official misconduct. His trial is set for November this year.
Bart Betteau and William McCall III, who represent 20 of the women, said that the majority have since been released. "My belief is that there is video because there always is," Betteau said. "We have requested what we can but enough time hasn't run for them to have to provide it. We believe that evidence will be available. The first thing we want is changes to be made. This is absolutely horrible. You can feel how horrifying it is when you talk to the women."
"They were in a place of security, when male inmates barged in there for a number of hours, doing what they want including raping women, and nothing was done about it," Betteau added. "There are buttons on the inside of the door in case of emergencies, in the main pods to let the jailers know, and nothing. Again this is a video-covered area, and they do nothing. They are meant to do standard walkthroughs that jail officers do and nothing. Until you look these women in the eye and hear them talk about it you can't understand their horror."
Clark County Sheriff's department said that it has been reviewing security video and recording interviews with all male inmates. "The sheriff's detective division has continued to interview female inmates who were present in the pod that evening and these interviews have yielded information that is in direct opposition to the allegations made in the civil suit," the department said in a statement. "Further the investigation seems to indicate that there was a systemic plan by individuals who were incarcerated that evening to develop the narrative that makes up the crux of the claims in the civil case." It added that it was "committed to debunking those untruths that have been alleged by those who are attempting to reap financial gain from the crimes of David Lowe."