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Georgia Prison Guards Face Sexual Assault Charges

Two prison guards have been criminally charged with sexually assaulting prisoners at the Emanuel Women’s Facility in Twin City, Georgia.

Capt. Edgar Daniel Johnson was the highest ranking officer at the prison, and Channel 2 Action News was present to record his arrest at his home on the morning of May 6, 2015. Johnson was charged with 11 counts of sexual assault on a person in custody, though investigators believe he likely had inappropriate sexual contact with as many as 13 female prisoners.

“I didn’t do this. I haven’t done anything,” Johnson said at the time. “I know I’m innocent. I have nothing to be afraid of or guilty of.”

Yet when reporter Mark Winne asked if Johnson had been alone in his office with the 11 alleged victims, he did not deny that that had happened. “I mean, I’m not going to say that I wasn’t,” he replied. “I’ve been in my office, but my office, it’s like a 4 [feet] by 4 [feet] by 6 [feet] ... it’s in a very crowded area.”

As a judge read the names of the 11 female prisoners who accused Johnson of touching, groping and engaging in sexual conduct with them, Johnson shook his head.

The other guard, Sgt. Shauntsey Kitchens, faces two counts of sexual assault on a person in custody. He turned himself in at the Emmanuel County Jail. [See: PLN, Dec. 2015, p.63].

The arrests and charges followed an investigation by the Georgia Department of Corrections, the District Attorney’s Office for the Middle Circuit and the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re just not going to tolerate inappropriate behavior,” said then-Georgia Corrections Commissioner Homer Bryson.

“They have control and custody of the [prisoners],” added District Attorney Hayward Altman. “Each of these felony counts carry a possible sentence of one to twenty years.”

Johnson was fired from his position at the Emanuel Women’s Facility in April 2015; he currently awaits trial and has been released from jail on bond.

In December 2015, three women who claimed Johnson had sexually assaulted them filed a federal lawsuit alleging civil rights violations against Johnson, the Georgia Department of Corrections, past and present DOC commissioners, and three prison wardens. The plaintiffs, Casey Mincey, Chante Waide and Marissa Adkins, are seeking a jury trial and damages.

According to their complaint, “Johnson used his status at the prison to intimidate and threaten [the plaintiffs] in order to forcibly coerce them into engaging in sexual acts with them [... Johnson] engaged in repeated incidents of sexual assault and harassment against the Plaintiffs and numerous other female inmates, including sexual intercourse, inappropriate touching, threats of prolonging their sentences, threats of denying their parole, and threats of keeping them from seeing their children.”

The prisoners had filed grievances, but a supervisor would allegedly “force inmates working under his control to throw away and/or shred the grievances, preventing the women from utilizing their administrative remedies.”

After the civil suit was filed, in February 2016 one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Walter Madison, said the case was also intended to encourage other victims to come forward and to strike a blow against abusive practices within the prison system.

“These women are all nonviolent offenders, being sex slaves and abused in such a horrendous, deplorable fashion was never part of their sentence,” Madison was quoted in a CNN article.

The lawsuit was stayed in June 2016 after Johnson filed for bankruptcy, and remains pending. See: Mincey v. Georgia Dept. of Corrections, U.S.D.C. (N.D. Ga.), Case No. 1:15-cv-04459-WSD.

Sources: www.wsbtv.com, www.wsbradio.com, www.wtoc.com, CNN

Related legal case

Mincey v. Georgia Dept. of Corrections


 

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