Former inmate says she was sexually assaulted, multiple times, by jail staffer

Former inmate says she was sexually assaulted, multiple times, by jail staffer

A local woman says she was sexually assaulted more than a year ago while incarcerated at the Western Massachusetts Regional Women's Correctional Center and the man she says did it still faces no criminal charges.

The 26-year-old woman, whom Boston 25 News is only identifying as Brittany, says she was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2016 and landed in a low-security section of the correctional center.

Brittany says a maintenance worker wore a badge that also indicated he was a Corrections Officer.

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"He made me and a couple of the other girls feel really comfortable. We could say whatever we wanted. He would let us smoke and stuff. I think that's why a lot of us went out there. It was like a little bit of freedom that we didn't have," Brittany told Boston 25 News Anchor Kerry Kavanaugh.

Eventually, Brittany says the extra freedoms came with a cost.

"When we would go outside with him, he'd always bring a blanket," said Brittany.

That's where the alleged sexual assault happens to her and another inmate for months.

"He was like, well if you don't do this, you're gonna go back to higher security," said Brittany.

A witness eventually reported what was going on and Brittany spoke with investigators. Attorney Tyler Fox says Brittany hasn't heard from Hampden County investigators since January.

"She was threatened. If a staff member has any sexual contact with an inmate, it's automatically assumed to be coerced. Defense is not consent and a rape charge is appropriate," said Fox.

The Hampden County Sheriff's Office, which operates the facility, says they conducted an internal investigation and terminated the worker.

Meanwhile, the DA's Office confirmed the claims of sexual assault by a former employee are under investigation and were presented by the sheriff's department.

A spokesperson said in part:

"I will confirm, claims of sexual assault by a former employee of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department are currently under investigation. These claims were presented to this office by the Sheriff’s Department."

"I feel like not many people are going to listen to me because I am an ex-inmate. And that's not right because I have a voice too," said Brittany. "I'm a good person, just because I've made mistakes doesn't make me bad."

Fox says he thought the case would be presented to a grand jury, but the DA's Office said they can't comment on any pending grand jury investigation.