Court preserves damage award for 2 inmates assaulted in jail

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 9:07 AM CDT
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The full U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a decision by three of its judges last year that said Polk County was not responsible for the repeated sexual assault of two female jail inmates by a guard.

The decision preserves a $4 million damage award for the two women.

The full court found the jury had sufficient evidence that the county chose to “stand by idly”while the women were exposed to “an unmistakable risk” of being sexually assaulted.

The Journal Sentinel says the former guard, Darryl Christensen, is serving a 30-year prison sentence for the assaults. Christensen assaulted the two women dozens of times between 2011 and 2014 and convinced them not to report the crimes.

He was only caught when a former inmate revealed to an investigator in another county that she had been assaulted by Christensen. Polk County officials then launched an investigation.

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