Sexual harassment suit filed against Dept. of Corrections

By John O'Brien | Apr 5, 2006

Pruntytown Correctional Center

CHARLESTON - Two former inmates at Pruntytown Correctional Center claim they were sexually harassed while incarcerated there.

Connie Mullins and Diane Crane describe in a lawsuit filed March 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court the way staff member William Carder touched and taunted the two.

They say he used his position as a committee member on the Work Release program as a way to negotiate for sexual favors.

"Defendant Carder walked over to (Mullins') person and began unbottoning her shirt," the complaint says. "Plaintiff Mullins asked him to stop and was told by Defendant Carder, 'I serve on all Work Release meetings and that if you want to get out of prison to go to Work Release, you'll do whatever I like."

The two list Carder, the State of West Virginia Department of Safety, Attorney General Darrell McGraw and West Virginia Department of Corrections as defendants.

They also claim that Carder, also a supervisor, told them they "had to please him" if they wanted to be approved for Work Release.

Crane, of Marion County, says Carder summoned her to a secluded area that he called his "private office" and grabbed her by the waist before attempting to kiss her and rub his groin against her vaginal area.

When she began to cry and asked to return to her unit, she claims he told her she couldn't leave until she was strip-searched.

Mullins, of Wyoming County, adds that Carder fondled her breasts and made comments about how large they are, also placing his mouth on them.

She adds that he exposed his penis and said, "They call me Big Bill around here," then directed her to insert his penis into her mouth. Mullins claims he requested that three times a week.

The two filed a complaint with the Department of Corrections, which they say did investigate the matter and ensure them that proper action would be taken.

The suit charges the defendants with invasion of privacy, battery, sexual harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence and seeks punitive damages.

Ron L. Tucker is representing the plaintiffs. Judge James Stucky has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-511

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