In early March, these women, identified as Jane Does 1-8, won a $1.1 settlement in their civil rights lawsuit against jail officials. None of the women are currently incarcerated.
Guilty Rape and Sodomy Plea
The deputy sued by the women, Jerome Perry, 43, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree rape and three counts of third-degree sodomy. Convicted on five felonies, Perry will spend two years in prison after a plea bargain. The plea deal is for 10 years, but eight of those years are probated as long as Perry meets specific conditions. He was sentenced for crimes taking place between July and September 2018. Perry was arrested in September 2018.
Perry must complete the Sex Offender Treatment Program upon release as per Kentucky statute. He cannot contact the victims and must follow all Sex Offender Registry requirements. According to some inmates, Perry accessed their records after they were released and attempted to contact them.
The women’s civil rights lawsuit alleges Perry forced them to perform sex acts, along with sexually abusing them and attempted rape. According to the lawsuit, other guards ignored Perry’s behavior and looked the other way during the assaults. The women state that at least 11 LDCD employees or guards were aware of what Perry was doing.
Perry also threatened to place contraband items on the women if they did not give in to him sexually. He warned of retaliation if women did not show him their breasts. In some cases, he traded contraband such as alcohol in exchange for sex.
Civil Rights Violations
Along with Perry, the lawsuit named former jailer Johnny Cottrill and seven other jail deputies. The inmates accused jail authorities of violating their civil rights, including their right to equal protection under the law, their right to due process, freedom from cruel and unusual punishments, as well as their right to be free from unwanted sexual advances.
Perry was accused of assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Along with the assaults, the inmates claim he subjected them to constant harassment.
Caught on Tape
The women’s claims went far beyond a he said/she said situation. Surveillance cameras recorded incidents of sexual abuse – but apparently, no one was watching the tapes or failed to report the situation if they were viewed. The plaintiff’s attorney said this was outrageous, adding that he hoped the settlement would force the county to improve monitoring.
The incidents took place in the areas such as the breakroom and the segregation cell. According to the lawsuit, Perry targeted inmates who were placed on suicide or medical watch. Two women said they were forced to perform oral sex on Perry after placement in the isolation cell.
Not the First Time
This is not the first time an LCDC employee was accused of sexually abusing inmates. In a prior lawsuit, five inmates alleged sexual assault by LCDC guards. The case was eventually settled.
If you or a loved one suffered catastrophic injuries or sexual assault at the hands of the police, prison guards or jail staff, you may be entitled to damages. Visit our inmate abuse information page for more details.
Ready to see if you have a case? CALL US at 866.836.4684 or Connect Online to learn how we can help you file a federal civil rights lawsuit.