Monday, February 05, 2007

Corrections Officer Convicted of Prisoner Rape

When people think of prisoner rape, they don't think about cases like this, they think about men getting raped by other inmates.

A former [New Hampshire] corrections officer was convicted yesterday of raping a female inmate under his supervision at a prison halfway house. A Merrimack County Superior Court jury found Douglas Tower, 62, guilty of all charges against him: two counts of rape and four counts of felonious sexual assault. The jury began deliberating Wednesday.

The woman, now 23, testified the former corrections sergeant assaulted her in his office at the Shea Farm halfway house two years ago and in a Corrections Department van. She said she felt she had no choice but to submit. "I had nobody to call; I didn't have any friends. I didn't have anybody like that to call," she said. "There are levels of trust. I didn't trust anybody to tell them anything like that."

Tower testified that he kissed and fondled the woman in the van after she made advances to him, but did not rape her.

His position was that he behaved stupidly, but he didn't commit a crime and certainly not the crime of rape. His official position was as the highest ranking full time officer at the prison halfway house.

Obviously, since he was convicted, the jury didn't believe his version of events or agree with his assessment that he had simply acted stupidly in response to a sexually aggressive woman. This is great news since many people have the tendency to look at surface details about the people and decide what to believe solely based on their assumptions about different people.

Hopefully this case will reinforce the message that prisoners are not sex toys or a perk for corrections department employees.

For anyone who decides his actions could have been part of a mutual relationship and that this verdict might be a result of feminist-driven persecution, it's worth noting that he still faces sexual assault charges related to a dozen other women.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:31 AM   0 comments links to this post


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