Former inmate says officer had sex with her

By Cara Bailey | Aug 21, 2008

CHARLESTON - A former state inmate has filed a suit against the jail authority and a corrections officer after he allegedly forced her to engage in sexual acts with him before giving her contraband to keep her quiet.

Tammy Rucker filed the lawsuit July 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Kevin R. Kessell and the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility.

According to the suit, starting in January 2008, Kessell engaged in sexual acts with Rucker while in uniform at the South Central Regional Jail.

Rucker claims Kessell engaged in threats of violent reprisal against her as an intimidation tactic in order to hide his sexual engagement. He also provided her with contraband materials as an incentive to keep her quiet.

In the five-count suit, Rucker claims the jail authority fails to supervise correctional officers while on duty, fails to have uniform standards regarding the proper treatment of incarcerated citizens, and fails to have standards regarding the use of physical violence, sexual contact, harassment and intimidation of the incarcerated citizens under their control.

Rucker claims she suffered injuries, including the deprivation of her civil rights, personal injuries, severe emotional distress, loss of certain freedoms, pain and suffering while incarcerated, loss of opportunity, attorneys' fees and costs and other various damages.

She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Attorney Ronald Hatfield is representing Rucker. The case has been assigned to Judge Charlie King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-1330

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