Former inmate sues correctional officers, jail authority for sexual misconduct

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 9, 2010

CHARLESTON -- A former inmate is suing five correctional officers and the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority after she claims they sexually harassed, assaulted and abused her during her incarceration.

Toni Purdom was incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail when she was sexually harassed, assaulted and abused by Steven Gillespie, Gary Grimes, Christopher Dameron, James Prince and John Doe, according to a complaint filed June 30 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Purdom 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.

The West Virginia jail authority negligently failed to supervise Gillespie, Grimes, Dameron, Prince and Doe; negligently failed to properly train them; negligently retained their employment; negligently hired them; negligently staffed the Southern Regional Jail; and negligently failed to intervene on Purdom's behalf, according to the suit.

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

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-1189

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