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Oregon Nurse Federally Charged With Raping Prisoners After State Prosecutors Declined to Prosecute

by Mark Wilson

On March 14, 2022, a federal grand jury in Oregon issued a 25-count indictment against a former nurse at the state’s only women’s prison, accusing him of sexually assaulting a dozen prisoners there from 2016 to 2017. Three days later, Tony Daniel Klein, 37, was fired by Portland-based Legacy Health, where he had worked since resigning from the state Department of Corrections (DOC) in January 2018, after the allegations against him were lodged by the prisoners at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF).

Multiple female prisoners complained that Klein groped, raped, assaulted and molested them, in some instances causing physical injuries, according to the Oregon U.S. Attorney’s Office. One prisoner reported that she was recovering from a respiratory infection in January 2017 when Klein called her to the CCCF clinic and groped her in an examination room. He then allegedly assaulted her again five months later.

Four current and former CCCF prisoners have brought a series of multi-million-dollar lawsuits against DOC, alleging that Klein sexually assaulted them and prison officials not only ignored and allowed his predatory behavior to continue for years but also retaliated against prisoners who reported his abuse. [See: PLN, Jan. 2022, p.46.]

An Oregon State Police investigation eventually found that 11 prisoners reported some form of sexual contact with Klein. Nevertheless, state prosecutors declined to charge him, claiming that some of the accounts were unreliable and the case was “unsupported” as a whole.

The Oregon State Board of Nursing fined him $2,500 in 2020 for falsely answering questions on his nursing license application, but Klein’s nursing license remains active.

The federal indictment charges Klein with 21 counts of “depriving the victims of their constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by sexually assaulting them.” He is also charged with four counts of perjury for giving false testimony during a 2019 deposition in a federal sexual abuse lawsuit brought by one of the prisoners. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Klein appeared by video and pleaded not guilty to all charges, according to court records. His trial is currently scheduled for July 10, 2023, where he will be represented by appointed counsel, Matthew G. McHenry of Levine & McHenry LLC in Portland. See: USA v. Klein, USDC (D. Or.), Case No. 3:22-cr-00084. 


Additional sources: Statesman Journal, U.S. News


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Related legal case

USA v. Klein