Second former inmate files suit against prison guard

Another lawsuit has been filed against Chillicothe prison guard Edward Bearden, alleging sexual assault.

A second former inmate of the Chillicothe Correctional Center has filed a civil suit against a guard who is still employed by the Department of Corrections alleging sexual assault, a violation of her eighth amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment. Three other defendants are named in the lawsuit as failing to protect the complaintant.

The suit was filed by the St. Louis University Legal Clinic.

According to the lawsuit, a burglary convict, Corrections Officer Edward Bearden, began harassing the victim in the spring of 2016 by making vulgar comments about her appearance. He then intensified the assaults by grabbing her crotch, and finally the complaint says that Bearden trapped her in a broom closet, grabbing her genitals in such a way that she was left bruised and bleeding.

Also named in the lawsuit was Vevia Sturm, the Prison Rape Elimination Act supervisor, the person responsible for putting that program in place in the prison, and Bearden's supervisor.

The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

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