The fifth time, on September 20, is set for the trial of a male prison officer in Indiana who is accused of accepting payment in exchange for permitting male convicts to enter the cells of 28 female detainees and sexually attack them over the course of several hours last year.
David Jason Lowe, 30, who was scheduled to go on trial on August 9 is accused of giving two other prisoners the keys to the women’s cells, the majority of whom were pretrial detainees being detained for minor offenses.
A police report based on a filmed interview with Lowes claims that the two prisoners had additional prisoners with them. In it, he acknowledges receiving payment of $1,000 for “trafficking” the ladies “with a prisoner,” as described by the prosecution. Lowe also acknowledged leaving the convicts’ access to the women’s pod door unlocked.
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According to Lowe’s account to the police, he turned “his back to the door to give convicts entry” after receiving the cash and giving the prisoners their keys. The Clark County Jail, which serves as the scene for A&E’s “60 days in,” which emphasizes its violent and volatile environment, had cameras there that captured some of it.
More information about the horrific assaults the ladies suffered may be found in a recent civil action against Lowe, Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel, and unnamed deputy sheriffs. The lawsuit claims that “the guys intimidated, battered and raped the ladies over the course of many hours.”
Some of the prisoners allegedly used towels to conceal their faces during the assault. One of the female victims was able to access an emergency button and press it hours into the attack. Many of them cried out for assistance. However, the lawsuit claimed that nobody stepped in to help them.
The complaint claims that when jail officers did finally arrive in the women’s cells, they told the ladies they had “lost their dark privileges.” The women allegedly suffered a shakedown, during which guards confiscated many of their personal belongings.
The women’s attorneys, Betteau Law Offices in New Albany, Indiana, filed the lawsuit on their behalf and are requesting compensation for the pain and suffering they had as a result of the sexual attacks.
Lowe is described in the case’s vital data as being 5’6″ and 140 pounds. According to his biography, he is from New Salisbury, Indiana.
The state charged Lowe with one count of aiding, inducing or causing escape of inmates, a low level felony. It also charged him with official misconduct, also a low level felony, and one count of trafficking with an inmate, classified as a Class A misdemeanor under Indiana’s criminal code, the same as petty theft or drunk driving.
Lowe was not charged under the state’s more severe accomplice liability laws. Under the laws, a person is charged as a principal in the second degree when they “knowingly or intentionally help the principal in the first degree commit the crime.”
In 1996, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released the findings of a nearly three-year long study entitled “All Too Familar: Sexual Abuse of Women in U.S. Prisons.” It found a disturbing trend of male correctional workers routinely sexually assaulting female inmates.
“In the course of committing such gross misconduct, male officers have not only used actual or threatened physical force, but have also used their near total authority to provide or deny goods and privileges to female prisoners to compel them to have sex,” the investigation found.
The study also revealed that male police frequently subjected women to obligatory pat-frisks or room searches in order to grope them or improperly see them when they were undressed in the restroom or living areas.
A study claims that in the past, male police were prohibited from working in roles that required direct interaction with female convicts because of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. However, the HRW found in its analysis that this changed once the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, which forbade discrimination against a person in the workforce based on their gender.