CHARLESTON – A woman has sued a correctional officer and another individual for alleged sexual harassment and abuse while she was incarcerated at the Huntington Work Release Center.

Robin Viers filed a lawsuit Jan. 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court against C.O. Hanshaw, employed by the West Virginia Division of Corrections (WVDOC), and fellow staffer John Doe, alleging sexual harassment and exploitation in a series of incidents.

According to the complaint, Hanshaw and Doe made unwelcome verbal and physical advances while she was under the defendant’s supervision, and personnel were deliberately indifferent to these actions, constituting a breach of duty as her exploitation was discriminatory and gender based.

Doe and Hanshaw were complicit in protecting one another from allegations from other female inmates at HWR, the suit states, and no investigation occurred and WVDOC failed to provide safe confinement.

The lawsuit cites: civil battery and assault; severe emotional distress and anxiety; physical injury and other damages; and violation of the 5th, 8th and 14th Amendments.

Viers seeks damages for medical expenses, attorney fees and costs. She is represented by attorney Michael Woelfel of Huntington.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-24

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