Ten women have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that they were sexually assaulted by guards and an employee at a female prison in the US state of Hawaii.
The prison staff — a female guard, three male guards and a male janitorial supervisor — subjected the female inmates to emotional distress and deprived them of their rights by sexually abusing them, the lawsuit said on Thursday, according to the Associate Press.
The inmates were provided with food, makeup, drugs and special privileges in exchange for sexual acts, the lawsuit claimed.
In one instance, a male guard reported an female inmate for violations that never happened when she refused to comply with the guard’s sexual demands.
In another case, an inmate assigned to janitorial work was called into a supervisor’s office and sexually assaulted.
The lawsuit further accused the authorities of failing to properly train and supervise prison workers and ignoring an “an obvious and ongoing pattern and practice of sexual abuse of inmates.”
Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety said Friday that officials have not yet been served with the lawsuit.
“We have to reserve comment until we receive it and have had time to discuss it with our legal counsel,” said department spokeswoman Toni Schwartz.
The female guard and two male guards have been dismissed, Schwartz said, while the third male guard and the janitorial supervisor are still working for the department.
Nearly one of every 10 state prisoners in the US is sexually abused while incarcerated, according to Justice Department data.