Officer, inmate sex becomes felony rape in Ky.

New legislation applies to correctional staff not inmates


Corrections1 Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Under new legislation approved Monday, Kentucky corrections officers could face charges of felony rape for having consensual sex with inmates, the Associated Press is reporting.

The new legislation comes some three months after Kentucky’s governor ordered 400 women be removed from Otter Creek Correctional Complex – a Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) facility - where allegations of sexual misconduct involving the predominantly male staff were widespread.

"This legislation offers greater protections for inmates in our custody, and helps eliminate activities that can create security risks in our prisons," Gov. Steve Beshear said, adding that he intends to quickly sign the legislation into law. "Additionally, this measure, which has been a priority for my administration since I took office, further bolsters our commitment to ensure the safety of female inmates."

When the law takes effect later this year, officers and other staffers who oversee inmates could be charged with felony rape and sodomy for having consensual sex with prisoners. Under current law, corrections officers face only misdemeanor charges for consensual sex with inmates.

CCA’s Otter Creek facility first came under public scrutiny when female inmates from Hawaii complained that they had been subjected to sexual assaults by male officers.

However, despite the resulting legislation, Corrections1 could find no reports that it would mandate, or allow for, any stricter punishment of inmates in these types of cases.

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