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Woman Gang Raped in Back of Jail Van

In August 1999, four Connecticut men sexually assaulted an unnamed female prisoner while being transported together in a New Haven County Sheriff's Department van. The men, who were also prisoners, allegedly broke down a metal gate separating them from the woman, removed her clothing and attacked her.

According to the woman, Marcus Gregory, 32, was the instigator of the assault. He allegedly grabbed her in a headlock and raped her. The other three men, Hubert Plummer, 24, David Bridges, 26, and Charles Johnson Jr., 46, allegedly fondled her while they masturbated.

All four men pleaded no contest to various sexual offenses stemming from the attack. On January 25, 2002, Gregory, Bridges, and Johnson received 15-year prison terms followed by 10 years of intensive parole. Gregory was already serving a 100-year sentence for two previous sexual assaults. Bridges also pleaded guilty to an unrelated attempted rape charge from 1995.

Plummer received an eight-year prison sentence and five years of parole, primarily because the authorities found no DNA evidence linking him to the assault. Plummer did admit that he assisted in breaking down the metal barricade, but denied assaulting the woman.

The 1999 van rape is not the first time the New Haven County Sheriff's Department has faced criticism. The department has been inundated with complaints of untrained staff and political corruption. The department's problems were so serious that state residents voted to overhaul the Jail system in November 2000.

In April 2001, the victim of the van attack sued the former sheriff and the two deputies who were present during the sexual assault.

Sources: The Republican-American; New Haven Register

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