Skip navigation

Lawsuit Claims Ohio Jail Guards Raped, Tortured Female Prisoner

According to a lawsuit filed on January 27, 2017, a woman incarcerated at the Warren County, Ohio jail in May 2013 was “so desperate for help she attempted to write on the cell wall, in her own blood, ‘God, please help me.’” The suit named one guard by name and another as John Doe. The jail’s health services administrator along with six nurses were also named as defendants.

Cheryl Luke (aka Cheryl Morgan) claimed the nurses had refused to administer her prescribed epilepsy medication, and that the resulting withdrawal symptoms left her in an altered state of mind. Her attorney, Jennifer L. Branch, said the defendant nurses all knew the medication withdrawal led to her client’s bizarre and abnormal behavior.

Branch further wrote that Luke was sexually assaulted by three guards in her cell while in a compromised mental state. She claimed the guards tortured her client when they shattered bones in her shoulder during the rapes, took away her clothing, used a stun gun on her more than once, shut off the water to her cell and forced her to drink from a toilet, and left her covered in her own feces and blood.

The jail’s health services administrator was accused of forging Luke’s name on a medical release, falsely reporting that she had been given her anti-seizure medication, failing to have her evaluated by a doctor, and telling the head of the jail that Luke was “playing us” and had not had a seizure.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office allegedly destroyed evidence related to the rapes, including Luke’s mattress and a urinalysis report that showed sperm was found in her urine. One of the guards accused of raping Luke said they had had consensual sex. An FBI investigation was thwarted by lack of evidence.

According to the lawsuit, 11 days after being booked into the Warren County jail, Luke was “found naked in her cell, crying and mumbling.” She was sent to a psychiatric hospital where she was reportedly diagnosed with “psychosis induced by the trauma of the sexual assault.” She eventually received medication and treatment, and was released from the hospital after about six weeks. The suit remains pending. See: Luke v. Lambert, U.S.D.C. (S.D. Ohio), Case No. 1:17-cv-00063-TSB. 

Additional source:

Related legal case

Luke v. Lambert