Woman sues Division of Corrections for sexual misconduct

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 17, 2010

CHARLESTON -- A former Beckley Correctional Center inmate is suing the state Division of Corrections and a correctional officer she claims sexually harassed and abused her.

An unnamed man was also named as a defendant in the suit.

During her incarceration, Rita Pritt was sexually harassed and abused by Stephen Jarosz, who was a correctional officer at the Beckley Correctional Center, according to a complaint filed Oct. 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Pritt claims the correctional officer "visited extreme cruel and unusual punishment" upon her.

The defendants' conduct was "atrocious, intolerable and so extreme and outrageous as to exceed the bounds of decency and so outrageous as to offend community notions of acceptable behavior," according to the complaint.

Pritt claims the West Virginia Division of Corrections 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 and inmates. She claims it failed to do so.

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

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-1891

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