West Virginia Record

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Woman says she was sexually abused by prison case manager

State Court

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 27, 2020


CHARLESTON — A woman filed a lawsuit against a case manager with the West Virginia Division of Corrections for alleged sexual abuse.

WVDOC, Counselor Knox and an unknown person were all named as defendants in the suit.

Nicole Hager was a convicted person when Knox, her case manager, sexually abused, harassed and exploited her, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Knox made sexual comments to Hager about her body and improperly touched her, according to the suit.

Hager claims she was under Knox's supervision and each of his unwelcome verbal, non-verbal and physical sexual harassment and abuses took place during that time. She claims she had a reasonable fear of retaliation.

"Defendant Knox's conduct was intended to satisfy his prurient interests and lascivious desires," the complaint states. "Defendant Doe...held a rank above Knox within the agency. Defendant Doe was charged with general supervision and assignment of staff, including defendants Doe and Knox and assigned Knox to supervise plaintiff and other women..."

Hager claims Doe failed to supervise Knox and discipline him for his actions.

The defendants committed a 14th Amendment due process violation and engaged in conduct was caused damages to the plaintiff, according to the suit.

Hager claims she suffered substantial injuries due to the sexual abuse and that Knox was not subjected to pre-hiring psychological testing, which was required by law.

The defendants breached their duties to protect Hager and caused her significant harm, according to the suit.

Hager claims she suffered a loss of ability to enjoy life, physical injury, anxiety, annoyance, inconvenience and pharmaceutical expenses due to the defendants' conduct.

Hager is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Michael A. Woelfel of Woelfel & Woelfel in Huntington.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case number: 19-C-1081

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Organizations in this Story

Kanawha Circuit Court