A 23-year old woman committed suicide after she was beaten by her guards in Washington. Her family claims that she attempted to file a complaint against the guard but it was denied. The same correctional officer who abused four women was sent to jail months later.
Federal civil rights Forensic lawKimberly Bender’s relatives filed an allegation last week that Forks city officials failed to stop Bender from killing herself and caused her to be tortured by a Forks security guard. The allegations violate Bender’s Constitution rights and the federal guidelines to avoid prison rapes.
It is also stated in the suit that the jail attempted to conceal her complaints of sexual harassment from the state investigators.
Ryan Dreveskracht is one of the lawyers representing Bender.
Forks Police Department is also responsible for the supervision of the city jail. It declined to comment.
Bender was a Quileute Tribe member aged 23 who struggled with depression and drug addiction. He spent time in the Forks prison between July 2019 and December 2019.
John Gray, a former corrections officer harassed her while she was there. Gray was alleged to have raped Bender nightly, staring at her and making “vile” comments. He also woke her up frequently.
According to the lawsuit, Bender was suffering from heroin withdrawal and could not sleep, rest or relax due to Defendant Gray. Kimberly was trying to fall asleep in the middle of the night when Defendant Gray climbed up to her prison cell doorway, sexually harassing and preying on her. Kimberly felt afraid for her safety, and ultimately, no worth.
Gray was previously employed at Washington State Department of Corrections Clallam Bai Corrections Center. Discipline recordsIn 2018, the prison fired him for inappropriate remarks made during a session of the Prison Rape Elimination Act training. This federal law sets guidelines for reporting and preventing sexual assaults in prisons.
A deputy director at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center found that Gray “made sexually charged comments and sounds such as, ‘Here we go’ and ‘oooh…oh yeah baby…mmmmm'” during a video portion of the training that depicted a woman conducting a pat-down search on another woman.
As There are reasons as previously reported: PREA It is largely toothlessThese are the reporting rules. The reporting rules were put into place in 2012. Since then, there have been no reports of sexual assaults occurring in jails or prisons. The number of customers is dramatically increasingThis is especially true for county and local jails. One former inmate sued the federal Bureau of Prisons, saying “PREA! That’s a joke!” TelledReason. Last year’s Justice Department Civil Rights Division Report Found Florida’s biggest women’s prison has reported that inmates are subject to sexual harassment and assault throughout their stay.
Gray was fired in February 2019. It isn’t known if Gray was reinstated or rescinded by union arbitration. However, Gray was appointed as corrections officer at Forks City Jail. Gray can jump from one job to another in corrections easily because Forks, which is about 3,900 inhabitants and best known as being where Stephenie Meyer was born, has a lot of appeals. Twilight series required additional correctional officers, and the jail couldn’t afford being picky. The lawsuit claims that the jail used one guard per shift to supervise male and female prisoners.
Dreveskracht said, “It’s small jail.” These small facilities often end up being an afterthought and are underfunded or understaffed.
Bender was remanded to Forks prison on November 5th 2019, after she violated her parole by possessing marijuana-related Paraphernalia. Gray is suing her for harassing her. Bender tried to commit suicide on November 16th by cutting one of her forearms using a razor.
Bender, while Gray was being treated at the hospital, reported Gray’s harassment and he was captured by a body camera.
The lawsuit claims that Bender was taken from the hospital, released, and returned to jail with medical instructions. These included “needs to have all weapons from her reach and removed from her needs.” [sic]Be on the lookout for suicidal attempts or gestures.
Gray was also interviewed by her at jail. She described Gray’s behavior in the last four months, saying that he had “pretty much done sexual fucking activities” (in some manner). Gray is always trying to avoid the camera.
She said, “Last week, I was still detoxing. He was coming to me.” When he is on, I will not go to the toilet. This is just ridiculously uncomfortable.
Bender was interviewed in Forks by police officers who stated that they believed Bender to be telling the truth due to their training and experiences.
According to the suit, Forks Police Chief Mike Rowley who oversees the city’s jail issued an internal investigative report on November 18 that found that Gray’s misconduct accusations were not “substantiated.” This means that they didn’t find any evidence supporting Bender’s claims or Gray violating jail policies.
Gray left the Forks City Jail without being able to prove Bender’s allegations. Gray’s probationary work at the Forks City Jail however, was abruptly terminated. Gray was not able to make a complaint against Bender because she was never told anyone that they believed her.
Bender, who was tied to her neck with a sheet around her neck on December 4, 2019, was discovered dead in her cell.
Rowley is accused of failing to tell the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office about Bender’s suicide 18 days earlier. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was also investigating the death.
It PeninYou can find it hereula Daily News reportedOn December 13, 2019, Jefferson County Sheriff Joe Nole stated that Bender didn’t give any sign that she was suicidal, and that she wasn’t on suicide watch.
This is a remarkable statement considering that Bender had been hospitalized for suicide attempts a month prior to this.
Gray returned to Clallam Bay Corrections Centre, where he was previously employed. Gray was also being investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for another rape accusation. He was then arrested and accused of sexually assaulting four female Inmates at Forks City Jail in his short tenure. The lawsuit states that two of the victims were heroin addicts. Gray was convicted and sentenced. SentencedUp to 20 Months in the Custody of His Previous Employer
Gray wasn’t charged with harassing Bender because she had already died. Her young son was left.
Dreveskracht states that Dreveskracht found out Dreveskracht was actively suicidal and she had been withdrawing from opioids. She needed to get help and got it.