CHARLESTON -- A former inmate at Lakin Correctional Center in Mason County is suing the West Virginia Division of Corrections for negligence after she claims she was sexually harassed and abused by a correctional officer.

During August and September 2009, C.O. Ronald Crawford sexually harassed and abused Tonya Sloan, according to a complaint filed April 1 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Sloan claims John Doe and the Division of Corrections negligently allowed Crawford's conduct to occur.

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

Sloan 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 Crawford; negligently failed to properly train him; negligently retained his employment; negligently hired him; negligently staffed Lakin Correctional Center; and negligently failed to intervene on Sloan's behalf, according to the suit.

Sloan is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Kerry A. Nessel.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-534

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