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Five women who allegedly suffered rape and abuse at the hands of two former LaRue County deputy jailers, filed a civil suit Monday in LaRue Circuit Court.
Alleasha Knox Butler, Brandi Dennis, Stephanie Mason, Jennifer Nichols and Betty Cox were inmates at the jail, according to the suit filed by Elizabethtown attorney Ronald Hines.
The women claim they were “mistreated, harassed, assaulted, forcibly raped and forced to perform sexual acts” while incarcerated.
According to Hines, his clients claim former chief deputy Travis Strader, 39, of Sonora, and former deputy jailer Harold Marcum, 66, of Magnolia, used threats and offers of gifts to coerce the women into providing sexual favors.
“If the girls refused, they were threatened — either by harm from inmates or with being transferred out to other facilities (where they could not have contact with family members),” Hines said. “They realized it was easier to supply them with gifts of alcohol, drugs, tobacco and cell phone cards.”
Both Strader and Marcum have been indicted by a LaRue County grand jury on several counts of promoting contraband, official misconduct and sexual abuse.
Former Jailer Ralph “Mac” Trumbo, who was asked to step down last July by the Department of Corrections, also is named in the suit. Trumbo, according to the suit, was responsible for establishment of policies and supervision and training his employees. He is accused of negligence in his supervision and care for the safety of the plaintiffs.
The women claim they suffered severe and permanent bodily injury, have incurred medical bills and expenses, including for psychological care and treatment, and suffered emotional distress, humiliation, pain, mental anguish and inconvenience.
Hines said some of the women contracted a disease through sexual contact at the jail.
About six other women are believed to have suffered abuse at the jail, according to Hines. He hopes they will step forward.
According to court records, the alleged acts occurred between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2010.
The women are seeking compensatory damages including expenses for treatment; punitive damages to be determined by trial; and costs and attorney fees.
The lawsuit gives only one side of the disagreement. Trumbo, Strader and Marcum have 21 days after being served with court summons to file a response.
— Landmark News Service