CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County woman is suing over claims she was sexually harassed while an inmate at Southern Regional Jail.
Bille Jean Hatfield filed a lawsuit Sept. 25 in Kanawha Circuit Court against correctional officer Dale Hammons, correctional officer William Wilson, chief correctional officer Lt. Larry Bunting, the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority and John Doe, citing sexual harassment.
According to the complaint, Hatfield experienced sexual assault at the hands of correctional officers Hammons and Wilson while an inmate at Southern Regional Jail. Hatifled says the officers sexually assaulting her, made sexual comments toward her, sexually abused her and sought sexual favors while she feared retaliation.
The complaint also states unknown employees of the jail aided the sexual exploitation of the plaintiff by acting as a "lookout."
According to the lawsuit, Bunting had knowledge of previous complaints of a sexual nature against the defendant officers and others but failed to remove them, ignoring incident and investigative reports and female inmates' allegations of staff sexual abuse.
The complaint cites sexual harassment, civil battery, civil assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy to conceal the sexual exploitation of the plaintiff.
Hatfield is represented by attorney Michael A. Woelfel of Huntington. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1758