Former inmate sues jail authority, officer for sexual harassment

CHARLESTON -- A former Tygart Valley Regional Jail inmate is suing the state jail authority and a correctional officer she claims sexually harassed and abused her while she was incarcerated.

While Christina Austin was incarcerated in the regional jail, C.O. Everson and an unknown person sexually harassed and abused her, according to a complaint filed April 25 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Austin claims the defendants' actions constituted intrusion upon her privacy rights and were "reprehensible, willful and wanton, malicious and in blatant and intentional disregard" of her rights.

The defendants caused Austin to suffer anxiety; humiliation; annoyance and inconvenience; invasion of privacy; emotional distress; pain and suffering; mental anguish; loss of her ability to enjoy life; future medical and pharmaceutical expenses; and other damages, according to the suit.

Austin is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Matthew J. Woelfel.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-659

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