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South Dakota Jail Prisoner Awarded $1.1 Million for Rape by Guard

South Dakota Jail Prisoner Awarded $1.1 Million for Rape by Guard

A South Dakota federal jury awarded a former female pretrial detainee $1.1 million in damages for being raped by a guard at the Pennington County Jail. The detainee, Mindy Kahle, was a former stripper awaiting disposition of robbery and assault charges.

She claimed that rookie guard Jermaine Leonard entered her cell three times on December 14, 2002, and sexually assaulted her. Leonard conceded the sex occurred but he contended it was consensual. He said Kahle seduced him to receive extra privileges. Not only was Leonard fired as a guard, but he spent several months in jail for the incident.

On February 23, 2008, the jury found Leonard liable for battery, outrage, and civil rights claims. It awarded Kahle $600,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages. Leonard’s supervisor, Tim Malone, was found not liable on a negligent supervision claim. Kahle was ably represented by Rapid City attorney Steven C. Beardsley. See: Kahle v. Pennington County Jail, USDC, D SD, Case No. 5:04-5024.

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Related legal case

Kahle v. Pennington County Jail