Inmate says officers sexually assaulted her

By Ben Hart | May 15, 2014

CHARLESTON -- A woman incarcerated in the Western Regional Jail is suing jail and correctional officers, claiming sexual assault.

Brittany Guthrie filed a lawsuit April 18 in Kanawha Circuit Court against West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority and Correctional Officers Matthew Berlin, Kevin Thompson, Cory Harshbarger and Mary Stowers, citing outrageous conduct, violation of plaintiff's rights and negligence.

Guthrie claims in the suit she was a victim of sexual abuse while incarcerated at the Western Regional Jail by defendants Berlin, Thompson and Harshbarger.

The suit alleges Guthrie was requested to perform oral sex, offered food for sexual favors and was required to perform sexual acts to other inmates while the guards observed.

According to the brief, defendant Stowers was aware of the incidents, but she failed to protect Guthrie from the abuse and failed to punish the offenders.

Guthrie is seeking damages, interest, attorneys fees and court costs.

She is being represented in the case by attorney Paul M. Stroebel of Stroebel and Johnson PLLC.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-758


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