LINCOLN, Nebraska — An inmate serving a life sentence for killing an Omaha woman is suing the state prison at Tecumseh for what he says was his unfair treatment over reports that he had sexual contact with two female prison employees.
The 51-year-old inmate filed the lawsuit earlier this month in federal court, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/1N3j2Pj ). This week, a judge allowed him to file the suit as a pauper.
The lawsuit claims a prison nurse discovered sexual activity between the inmate and a prison staff member in July.
The man says in the lawsuit that following the discovery, he was handcuffed, put in a holding cell, questioned for at least 10 hours, humiliated by staff and inmates and fired from his prison porter job.
State law says inmates cannot consent to sex with prison employees, making such conduct tantamount to sexual assault. No charges have been filed against any prison employees in the case, but the Nebraska State Patrol confirmed a sexual assault investigation is being conducted.
The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault.
Asked about the allegations, state Corrections Department spokeswoman Dawn-Renee Smith said the department has a zero tolerance policy on sexual assault and that the allegation was investigated internally.
"Additionally, we turned all information over to the Nebraska State Patrol for investigation," she said in an email.
Smith said the two women accused in the case resigned, but that their employment status has no impact on whether criminal charges are filed.
The inmate said in the lawsuit that state prisons director Scott Frakes ultimately allowed him to return to his prison job and dismissed the write-up against him and a 30-day room restriction ordered by the Institutional Disciplinary Committee in July.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com