Friday, March 23, 2007

Kentucky Law Prevents Felony Charges Against Jailer Accused Of Raping Inmates

This story from Kentucky caught my eye because of the laws involved.

A Kenton County deputy jailer charged with sexually exploiting two female inmates will not face felony rape and sodomy charges. [...]

It is a misdemeanor for a jail guard to have sex with an inmate unless force was used. Sanders said the evidence that force was used is strongest involving a woman who has been released from jail. The problem is, law enforcement officials cannot find the woman to get her testimony. [...]

Two of the attacks happened inside the jail's video arraignment room while another attack happened in an isolation cell while one of the women was on suicide watch.

The prosecutors had to drop the felony charges because they would have had to prove that the jailer used force for the crime to be a felony. The problem with that is jailers can use real force through their positions without that force being detectable as overt physical violence. Then there is the inherent lack of credibility that most juries would give to these types of victims.

That combination of accessibility and low credibility can be tempting for some people who know their victims will likely be too scared to report them. True ethics shouldn't depend on the likelihood of being caught or excuses that turn this type of crime into one that hurts nobody.

The security cameras only showed the jailer entering and leaving the locations where the crimes were allegedly committed which makes sense since a jailer committing these types of crimes would want to know exactly where he was on and off camera.

Fewer people continue to call this a victimless crime or insist on twisting it around so that the jailer is seen as the true victim. Unless those people are claiming that no sexual contact occurred or the inmate assaulted the jailer, they would be encouraging the sexual exploitation of inmates by guards.

Nobody should be sexually exploited or raped. We need to make sure that message is always clear because rapists and potential rapists are listening for anything that will feed their rationalizations.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:04 AM   0 comments links to this post

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