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Former Female Inmates Sue California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Alleging Decades of Sexual Abuse

By Joe Marchelewski
Community Writer
02/06/2024 at 07:34 PM

ACTS LAW filed a lawsuit on behalf of more than 130 women who allege they were sexually abused by prison staff at California Institution for Women (“CIW”) in Chino, CA and Central California Women’s Facility (“CCWF”) located in Chowchilla, CA. The lawsuit was filed against the State of California and CDCR as well as several prison staff members.

According to the complaint, the women, identified as Jane Roes to protect their identity, CIW has widespread sexual abuse happening throughout the facility. Many inmates have complained about unwelcome sexual advances, physical assault, rape and more, due to the power dynamics at the jail. These women have bravely come forward to report their sexual exploitation to protect themselves as well as future inmates at CIW.

The complaint alleges CIW and CCWF:

  • Lack of adequate hiring policies and procedures to prevent sexual predators from having exclusive exercise and control over inmates to sexually abuse them under color of authority while in detention; 
  • Offer unrestricted and unsupervised intimate access to inmates for sexual touching and gratification; 
  • Fail to adequately or properly train security staff to protect inmates while in custody against sexual abuse;
  • Are guilty of blind ignorance, willful ignorance, lack of property supervision, and/or improper and avoided training as it relates to sexual misconduct of employees.

"Every woman's worst nightmare is being locked inside a facility filled with sexual predators with no means of escape," said ACTS LAW partner Doug Rochen. "And that's exactly what each of these women, and likely thousands more, were subjected to for decades. California paid no attention to their well-being, left them to suffer at the hands of the worst kinds of sexual deviants, and made them relive their pain daily while being locked behind bars."

The complaint lists the horrific treatment female inmates were subjected to, including:

  • Women subjected to more than 40 instances of rape and/or sexual misconduct from the same guard
  • Sexual abuse while in and out of jail cells
  • Forced oral copulation and/or digital penetration
  • Lewd comments and harassment
  • Groping

The lawsuit was filed in Sacramento Superior Court. The case is Jane Roe et al v. State of California, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation et al., Sacramento Superior Court, Case No. 23CV013894.

To read the complaint, click here.

About ACTS Law

ACTS Law has over a decade of experience with skilled and knowledgeable attorneys representing victims in a broad array of case types. They have recovered over a billion dollars in settlements, helping their clients receive the justice that is so rightfully deserved.