Four inmates reported in a formal grievance around July 2003 that a detention officer was involved in a romantic relationship with another inmate. This relationship created problems among the inmate population and included periods of time where the detention officer and the inmate were alone together.
Also charged in the same formal grievance was that two other detention officers were making inmates perform nude “window shows” for them.
A sergeant “locked down” the four complaining women for three days during the “investigation,” which consisted of asking them about their grievance in the presence of the inmate they were reporting was involved in the relationship with the detention officer. This created a great deal of pressure against those who filed the grievance within the ranks of the women’s prisoners, who were then divided between those who supported the relationship and those who were complaining about it.
The sergeant made the four write a statement, but ordered them to limit their complaint to the situation of the alleged relationship between the inmate (and the detention officer. This totally ignored and avoided the serious allegation that male officers were making inmates perform nude displays for them. One of these latter officers later would sexually assault three of the inmates.
As the sergeant ordered the revised and reduced complaint to be written, one of the women complained that she could not read or write well. She was told to “do the best you can.”
Two inmates witnessed a nude display by an inmate performed for an eagerly watching detention officer. This was told to the sergeant. Nothing was done.
Intercoms were used inappropriately on different occasions by detention officers to make inappropriate sexual remarks to various inmates. This was directly witnessed by several inmates.
A male detention officer spent time alone with a female inmate after the inmate’s roommate was asked to leave the cell.
A male detention officer applied handcuffs to two female inmates and had them pose in various poses for his entertainment.
Capt. (Pat) Bedford told an inmate that she was in administrative detention for “making false accusations against my officers.”
An inmate wrote 8 to 10 formal grievances against detention officers, at least seven of them for sexual misconduct. She never got a response from jail administration, other than from Capt. Bedford, who told her they were all false and ordered her to never to write another one on his officers.
Detention officers allowed two female inmates simulate sex acts for the watching guards. These women were not punished.
The favored female inmates, and those associated with the inmate involved with a detention officer, were allowed much greater latitude in cursing officers and carrying on without discipline being applied to them.
A detention officer directed and encouraged two female inmates over the intercom while they performed sexual acts with and upon each other. This was witnessed by two other female inmates.
Various female inmates would expose themselves to male detention officers in order to get the officers to deliver notes to other (male) inmates. The officers would comply with the requests. Such communication between male and female inmates is against jail policy.
A male detention officer made suggestive sexual comments to female inmates.
A male detention officer pushed a female inmate against the wall, exposed his penis, and told the female inmate “put your mouth on it.” He grabbed her arm and made her touch his penis with her hand.
A male detention officer, while bringing dry materials to a female inmate after a flood in the cellblock, distributed other inmates materials to them in a common area but insisted that the female inmate at issue receive hers in her cell, away from view of others. He then sexually assaulted her.
A male detention officer supplied favors and gifts to the female inmate he was rumored to have a relationship with. The same officer would remain long after his shift, and would remain in the women’s detention area in plain clothes visiting this female inmate.
Captain Bedford told an inmate that he “was sick of (her) writing letters regarding his officers.” She had only written one letter. The inmate was placed in “lockdown” for two weeks without hearing or explanation.
A male detention officer twice told a female inmate that he was “going to (have sex with)” her, and then he exposed himself to her. The same officer told another inmate, after sexually assaulting her, that he would be back to “(have sex with) her” before his job ended at the jail the following week.
A female inmate reported that during the delivery of medications, a male detention officer grabbed the back of her head, pulled her to him, kissed her in the mouth with his tongue, and later exposed himself, rubbed his exposed penis and mouthed “this is for you” to the inmate. The inmate reported the incident. This inmate has a heart condition and her attorney advised her not to take a polygraph test due to the heart condition. The investigation was closed as “unfounded,” on the notion that a polygraph test of the alleged victim is a requirement to pursue a criminal investigation. The officer was later fired.
Several inmates have complained about detention officers’ inappropriate conduct in formal grievances which were never responded to by jail administration.
Upon being informed of the allegation of his client about the October 11, 2003, sexual assault by Officer Mayhew, the attorney for the victim went to the Catoosa County Jail the morning of Monday, October 13, 2003. When discussing the allegation with Captain Pat Bedford, the Captain stated, “She (Poston’s client) has filed half a dozen grievances against my officers.” Captain Bedford also stated that “she is in administrative detention for filing false claims.”
After the discovery of the existence of physical evidence preserved by Poston’s client, the attorney asked Captain Bedford for copies of the earlier grievances. Poston’s request was denied. After Poston went to appeal to Sheriff (Phil) Summers for the earlier copies of the “half a dozen” grievances, Capt. Bedford came out to tell Poston that there were no other grievances by Poston’s client, other than “one which concerns another officer.” Several witnesses support that Poston’s client wrote multiple formal grievances to the jail ad-ministration, many of them alleging sexual misconduct in the jail