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Seven California Women Prisoners Settle Sexual Assault Suit for $160,000

Seven women between 25 and 60 years old settled their sexual assault suit against California for $160,000.

Plaintiffs were confined at the Avenal State Prison, near Fresno in 1989 and 1990. Avenal was a male prison and most of the time, no female guards worked there. Male guards watched plaintiffs shower, use the toilet and change clothes. Plaintiffs were subjected to improper bodily searches, and some were sexually assaulted by guards.

Plaintiffs sued in federal court, seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Defendants denied the sexual assault claims but settled the suit for $160,000 in 1995. One plaintiff was awarded $26,000 and the others received about $18,000 each. See: Eagerton v. Rowland, USDC, ED CA, Case No. CIV-F-90-0618-GEB-PAN.

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Related legal case

Eagerton v. Rowland