Woman sues correctional officer, DOC for sexual misconduct

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 9, 2010

CHARLESTON -- A woman is suing the West Virginia Division of Corrections, a correctional officer and an unknown person after she claims she was sexually harassed, abused and assaulted while she was incarcerated.

Lena Lunsford was incarcerated in the Beckley Work Release Center and during her incarceration she was sexually assaulted, sexually harassed and sexually abused by C.O. Jarvis and an unknown person, according to a complaint filed May 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Lunsford claims the defendants owed a duty to her to provide a reasonably safe confinement facility and a duty to properly hire, train, retain and supervise its correctional officers.

The West Virginia Division of Corrections knew or should have known that Jarvis and John Doe failed to comply with the law and standards required of a staff member in their positions, according to the suit.

Lunsford claims she has suffered anxiety; humiliation; annoyance and inconvenience; invasion of privacy; emotional distress; pain and suffering; mental anguish; loss of her ability to enjoy life; future medical and pharmaceutical expenses; and other damages.

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

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-874

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