Lawsuit to Move Forward for Transgender Woman Who Says She Was Raped in DC Jail - NBC4 Washington

Lawsuit to Move Forward for Transgender Woman Who Says She Was Raped in DC Jail

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    Only on News4: A D.C. judge has ruled that a transgender woman's lawsuit against the District and two corrections officers can move forward. She claims she was sexually assaulted by a man who was deliberately placed in her cell. News4’s Jackie Bensen reports. (Published Friday, Oct. 21, 2016)

    A transgender woman's lawsuit against the D.C. government is moving forward, three years after she filed the suit claiming she was raped by an inmate who was deliberately placed in her cell.

    In July 2012, the victim, referred to as Jane Doe, was serving time in the D.C. jail for a probation violation on an unlawful entry charge.

    According to court documents, her file contained the alert: "KS....Transgender." KS means keep separate. She was initially housed alone in a protective custody cell.

    The lawsuit alleges that two corrections officers placed another inmate her cell who had a known "history of sexual violence in the DC jail."

    "I was traumatized, I was raped," the victim, referred to as "Jane Doe," told News4 in 2013.

    A judge has ruled to allow the victim to sue the District and two corrections officers who allegedly allowed the inmate into her cell.

    It is an unusual move as corrections officers' actions are typically covered by qualified immunity, which protects government officials from liability for civil damages -- unless their conduct violates a person's statutory or constitutional rights.

    "The judge has ruled that two of corrections officers are liable for violating Jane Doe's 8th amendment rights by allowing cruel and unusual punishment to be inflicted on her, by placing her in a cell with a known jailhouse rapist," said Jeffrey Light, the victim's attorney.