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New Mexico Prison Doctor Fingered in Lawsuits

Two lawsuits filed in March 2013 seek compensatory and punitive damages against former prison physician Mark E. Walden, GEO Group, Corizon, wardens Erasmo Bravo and Timothy Hatch, and health administrator Sherry Phillips. The suits allege that numerous prisoners were fondled or received intrusive rectal exams by Dr. Walden, a Corizon employee, at the GEO Group-operated Guadalupe County Correctional Facility in Santa Rosa and New Mexico Detention Facility in Clayton.

Suspicions arose due to a substantial increase in unnecessary, prolonged rectal exams, including some conducted without gloves, and Walden’s refusal to have a nurse or other third party present during the exams. In one case, a prisoner with a knee injury received a rectal exam; in another, a prisoner claimed that Walden penetrated his anus using his entire hand.

A third lawsuit was filed against Dr. Walden, GEO Group, Corizon and various prison officials on July 12, 2013, alleging that Walden had “sexually abused at least 25 victims” by performing unnecessary rectal exams or fondling them. The suits remain pending. See: F.M. v. Walden, U.S.D.C. (D. NM), Case No. 1:13-cv-00264-ACT-RHS; R.J. v. The GEO Group, U.S.D.C. (D. NM), Case No. 1:13-cv-00265-ACT-RHS; H.R. v. The GEO Group, U.S.D.C. (D. NM), Case No. 1:13-cv-00647-ACT-KBM.

The New Mexico Medical Board is investigating Dr. Walden for having “touched or attempted to touch these inmates in an inappropriate, sexual manner,” and his medical license has been suspended.

Additional source: Associated Press

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Related legal cases

F.M. v. Walden

R.J. v. The GEO Group

H.R. v. The GEO Group