CHARLESTON -- A former inmate at the Beckley Work Release Center is suing the West Virginia Division of Corrections for negligence after she claims she was sexually harassed and sexually abused by a correctional officer.

Lena Lunsford was incarcerated at the Beckley Work Release Center and claims during that time she was sexually harassed and abused by Stephen Jarosz, according to a complaint filed Nov. 5 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Lunsford claims John Doe and the Division of Corrections negligently allowed the correctional officer's conduct.

The correctional officer's conduct was "reprehensible, willful and wanton, malicious and in blatant and intentional disregard of plaintiff's rights," according to the suit.

Lunsford claims the defendants caused her to suffer 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 Division of Corrections negligently failed to supervise the correctional officers; negligently failed to properly train them; negligently retained their employment; negligently hired them; negligently staffed Lakin Correctional Center; and negligently failed to intervene on Lunsford's behalf, according to the suit.

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

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-1990

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