Woman sues Division of Corrections, others for sexual assault

By Kyla Asbury | May 14, 2010

CHARLESTON -- A woman who was incarcerated in the Beckley Work Release Center claims she was sexually assaulted, harassed and abused during her incarceration by a correctional officer.

Sheena Sebastian is suing the West Virginia Division of Corrections, an unknown person and C.O. Jarvis for the sexual misconducts, according to a complaint filed April 16 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Sebastian claims Jarvis sexually assaulted, harassed and abused her during her incarceration and that the WVDOC and the unknown person negligently allowed the conduct to occur.

The WVDOC owed a duty to Sebastian to provide a reasonably safe confinement facility; a duty to properly hire, train, retain and supervise its correctional officers, as well as see that inmates are not subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault or other conduct, according to the suit.

Sebastian claims the WVDOC knew or should have known that Jarvis failed to comply with the laws and standards required of a staff member in his position.

Sebastian is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Matthew J. Woelfel.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-727

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