TOPEKA, Kan. — A former Topeka Correctional Facility inmate who was sexually assaulted by an instructor at the women’s prison in 2007 has been awarded $2.5 million by a federal judge, but it is not certain she’ll ever see any of that money.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree on Tuesday issued the ruling against Ananstacio Gallardo for $750,000 in actual damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages for assaulting the woman, who became pregnant as a result of the incident.
Gallardo, who was a vocational plumbing instructor at the Topeka facility, pleaded guilty to one felony count of unlawful sexual relations with an inmate and two felony counts of trafficking contraband in exchange for prosecutors dropping a rape charge.
Since the judgment was against Gallardo as an individual rather than in his capacity as a state employee — and because he is serving a federal prison sentence for drug and gun-related offenses — it’s not clear if the woman can recover any of the award, the Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/2cttN42 ) reported.
In October 2007, Gallardo was a vocational plumbing instructor at the facility when he forced the victim to have sex with him. She became pregnant and alleged Gallardo smuggled a morning-after pill into the prison for her, urged her to escape from the prison to get an abortion, and had another inmate stomp on her stomach in the hopes of inducing a miscarriage.
She accused Gallardo of trying to intimidate her into keeping quiet, including telling her, “Who’s going to believe you? You’re an inmate.”
The case became part of a broader sexual abuse scandal at the women’s prison that contributed to a change in state law on sexual relations with prisoners.
The Capital-Journal published a number of stories in 2009 about sexual misconduct at the prison, prompting two independent audits in 2010 that identified dozens of changes necessary to protect female inmates, improve management and upgrade security.
Warden Richard Koerner was removed in 2010, ending his long career with the Department of Corrections. Then-Gov. Mark Parkinson signed a bill making it a felony to have unlawful sexual relations with inmates.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012 found widespread sexual abuse at the facility among state employees and inmates, violating the rights of women incarcerated there.
Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com