Lawsuits: Correctional officers sexually abused inmates

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Three women are suing the West Virginia Division of Corrections and three correctional officers who they say sexually abused them.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that three lawsuits filed Tuesday say male correctional officers sexually harassed, sought sexual favors from and engaged in sexual abuse of the women while they were serving sentences at the Huntington Work Release Center, Charleston Work Release Center and Western Regional Jail, respectively.

The lawsuits don’t provide a time frame for the abuse.

The lawsuits say jail officials showed “deliberate indifference” to a pattern of sexual exploitation of female inmates, and violated their constitutional rights. Each woman says she suffered battery, assault and emotional distress.

West Virginia State Sen. Mike Woelfel is representing all three plaintiffs.

The newspaper did not report responses from defendants.

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