Five inmates at Oregon’s only women’s prison have filed suit against the state, alleging not only being raped, groped and assaulted by a nurse on staff, but also that prison officials punished them for reporting the violence.
The suits filed against the Oregon Department of Corrections claim staff at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility routinely ignore sexual assaults against inmates, and that the nurse’s assaults had gone on for years.
An Oregon State Police investigation uncovered at least 11 inmates that had reported one or another form of sexual contact with the nurse, but no charges were filed after prosecutors decided the accounts were unreliable, and the case was “unsupportable,” generally. The nurse resigned in January of 2018.
Prison officials, citing the pending litigation, declined to comment on the cases when asked by the Statesman Journal.
Coffee Creek has seen a number of sexual abuse allegations since its 2001 opening in Wilsonville. There have been seven changes of superintendent. Among the cases: The 2009 arrest of a groundskeeper that used a “rape shed” to assault inmates, and the 2016 arrest of a corrections officer.