Woman sues correctional officers, state jail authority for sexual misconduct

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 25, 2012

CHARLESTON -- A woman is suing two correctional officers and the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority in two separate suits after she claims she was sexually harassed, abused and assaulted while she was incarcerated at the Western Regional Jail.

Tabitha Gardner was incarcerated at Western Regional Jail when she was sexually harassed, abused and assaulted by C.O. Marcum and C.O. Morgan, according to two complaints filed April 4 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Gardner claims the defendants had a duty to provide her with a reasonably safe confinement facility and failed to do so.

As a result of the defendants' failure, Gardner was not sufficiently protected from harm by Morgan and Marcum and was subjected to extreme cruel and unusual punishment, according to the suits.

Gardner claims the defendants knew or should have known that Marcum and Morgan failed to comply with the law and standards required of staff members in their positions.

The defendants also negligently breached their duty to properly hire, train and supervise Marcum and Morgan and negligently retained them, according to the suits.

Gardner is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Kerry A. Nessel and Timothy P. Rosinsky.

The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judges Carrie Webster and Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-589, 12-C-590

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