CHARLESTON – A West Virginia woman is suing over claims she was sexually abused while an inmate at Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.

Heather J. Currier filed a lawsuit Oct. 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Randall Black, Clinton Bowman, correctional officer Nelson, the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, and John Doe, citing sexual abuse.

According to the complaint, while an inmate at Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in Hampshire County, Currier was sexually harassed and abused by correctional officer Black, who made sexually exploitive comments to, sought sexual favors from and sexually abused Currier while assigned to supervise her. The complaint states Black used his position of authority to coerce sexual favors from Currier, who was afraid of retaliation.

The lawsuit states the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority is the operator of the jail and there has existed a pattern of sexual harassment of female inmates by correctional officers since it opened.

According to the lawsuit, this could not continue without the tacit approval of supervisory staff such as Bowman and Nelson.

The complaint also states allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Black, yet he was continually assigned to directly supervise female inmates. The Doe defendants are defined as any person who concealed Black's actions, and the defendants are accused of cruel and unusual punishment.

The defendants are accused of sexual harassment, civil battery, civil assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress/tort of outrage and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Defendants Black, Bowman, Nelson and John Does are accused of civil conspiracy.

Currier seeks compensatory and punitive damages, including court costs and attorney fees.

She is represented by attorney Michael A. Woelfel of Huntington.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1889

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