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Federal Prisoner Sexually Assaulted By Guard Receives $150,000 Settlement

by David Reutter

The Bureau of Prisons paid $150,000 to settle a prisoner’s Federal Tort Claim Act action that alleged she was sexually assaulted by a guard.

The plaintiff, identified as V.O.M. to protect her identity was imprisoned at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky.   She alleged that on January 6, 1992, guard Eddie Smith made lewd comments and began harassing her after he observed her breastfeeding her child.

She further alleged that in April 1992 Smith kissed and fondled her against her will, forcing her to perform oral sex on him.  That behavior occurred again in May.  To avoid Smith, V.D.M. violated prison rules to be placed in segregation, but upon her release he forced her to perform oral sex on several occasions.

The BOP allegedly attempted a “sting” to trap Smith, but officials were “negligent in conducting the sting operation,” resulting in V.D.M. becoming “trapped in a broom closet with Eddie Smith where he proceeded to again sexually abuse her.”

V.D.M. was represented by Lexington attorney T. Bruce Simpson, Jr.  On April 7, 1997, BOP agreed to pay $150,000 to settle the case.  See:  V.D.M. v. United States, Case 94-CV-00431 (U.S.D.C. E.D. Ky.).

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Related legal case

V.D.M. v. United States