Woman sues chief correctional officer over sexual abuse claims

By Taylor Morse | Oct 8, 2015


CHARLESTON– A West Virginia woman is suing the chief correctional officer of the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority, claiming he failed to stop sexual abuse while she was incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail.

Christina Hensley filed the suit Sept. 3 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Lt. Larry Bunting and unknown persons beneath Bunting who allegedly played a negligent part in the abuse suffered.

The plaintiff claims that while in the custody and under the authority of Bunting, she suffered sexual abuse through verbal, nonverbal, and physical means while under the direct supervision of Correctional Officer Dale Hammons. Bunting is Hammons' supervisor, the complaint states, and he "willfully failed to supervise, discipline, deter and recommend discharge of sexually abusive staff members at Southern Regional Jail." Bunting also ignored and concealed incident reports, according to the complaint.

The plaintiff claims her national and state-given rights were taken away and that the defendants violated her rights under the Fifth, Eighth, and 14th Amendments.

The plaintiff seeks financial compensation for her damages, court costs, attorney fees and a trail by jury.

The plaintiff is represented by Michael A. Woelfel of Huntington. The case has been assigned to Judge Jennifer F. Bailey.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case number 15-c-1671.

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