CHARLESTON -- Five women are suing the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority after they claim they were sexually harassed and abused by correctional officers.
C.O. Jeff Cowger, C.O. Jason Hall, C.O. Marcum, C.O. Jason Webb and C.O. Dean were each named in the lawsuits.
The five women, April Dawn Scott, Leah Lowe, Amy Jo Lucas, Kristen Lasure and Penny Connard, were incarcerated at Central Regional Jail, South Central Regional Jail and Western Regional Jail when they were sexually harassed and abused by correctional officers at the jails, according to five complaints filed April 4 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
The women claim the defendants negligently allowed the conduct to occur and failed to provide reasonably safe confinement facilities.
The West Virginia Regional Jail Authority negligently breached its duties by failing to properly hire, supervise, train and retain staff, specifically the correctional officers, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim the correctional officers "visited extreme cruel and unusual punishment upon them.
As a result of the defendants' negligent, the five women suffered physical and emotional distress, according to the suits.
The five women are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Kerry A. Nessel and Timothy P. Rosinsky.
The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judges Paul Zakaib Jr., James C. Stucky, Carrie Webster and Louis H. Bloom.
Case number: 12-C-584, 12-C-585, 12-C-586, 12-C-587, 12-C-591