Lawsuit claims correctional officer raped prisoner

By Cara Bailey | Sep 19, 2007

CHARLESTON - A Princeton woman has filed a suit on behalf of her daughter who claims an officer raped her while she was a prisoner at the Anthony Correctional Center.

Janice Bailey, through Wheeling attorney David A. Jividen, filed a suit Sept. 6 in Kanawha Circuit Court, on behalf of Joanie L. Cline.

The suit is against the West Virginia Division of Corrections, Anthony Correctional Center and Bryan Chris Yoakum, among others.

According to the suit, Yoakum raped Cline on multiple occasions between Nov. 8, 2005, and Aug. 3, 2006, while Cline was incarcerated at the center.

The suit says Yoakum engaged Cline in sexual acts several times while she was under his care and control. Cline claims the acts were uninvited, unwelcome and against her will, and that she was physically helpless during the time of assault.

In the 17-count suit, Cline claims Yoakum solicited her to commit acts of prostitution and lewdness, and treated her like a sex slave. The suit also says Yoakum kidnapped Cline, by taking her away from her assigned area by force in order for her to perform sexual favors.

"Each of the acts of the defendants… individually or in there [sic] totality, were atrocious, intolerable and so extreme and outrageous as to exceed the bounds of decency," the suit says.

According to the suit, the emotional distress Cline suffered "was so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it."

The suit says the Division of Corrections and the Anthony Correctional Center were negligent by hiring and retaining Yoakum, therefore causing Cline's injuries.

Cline claims she may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease through Yoakum's conduct, and has to undergo medical examinations and monitoring.

According to the suit, the actions of the defendants violated Cline's First, Fourth, Eighth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Bailey and Cline seek punitive and general damages, in an amount to adequately compensate them for their injuries.

Division of Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein, Warden Scott Patterson, and Attorney General Darrell McGraw are also named as defendants in the suit.

The case has been assigned to Judge James Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-1877

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