Two more women have filed lawsuits saying they were sexually assaulted by a prison guard while they were incarcerated in West Virginia.
The most recent lawsuits add more claims against former guards and staff at the Federal Prison Camp in Alderson, where the current and former inmates allege the guards sexually abused prisoners and protected one another from formal investigations into their conduct.
The latest lawsuits make three lawsuits in about two months that have been filed against former Capt. Jerrod Grimes, former Warden Scott Hall, and the U.S. government as the governing body for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Grimes was convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting inmates in Alderson.
The plaintiffs in the latest lawsuits are identified by their initials, C.L. and S.B. Footnotes in each lawsuit state the women have “a legitimate fear of retaliation from correctional officials and/or present or former inmates” for filing the lawsuits.
All three women who have filed lawsuits said Grimes forced sexual acts on them while they were prisoners in Alderson, where they felt they had little power to defend themselves and were met by complications when they tried to report their experiences to other prison staff.
The two women who filed the most recent lawsuits remain in federal prison, but neither are at Alderson, according to their lawsuits, which were filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of West Virginia.
A woman whose initials are C.H. filed a lawsuit in September against Wilson, Grimes, and five other guards, including a Lt. Workman, claiming she was sexually abused.
Hall and a person identified as Lt. Workman also are named as defendants in C.L.’s lawsuit.
S.B. is suing Wilson and Grimes, Associate Warden Randy Keyes and a prison employee whose last name is Broce, whose job involved investigating sexual abuse at the prison, according to the lawsuit.
The women are represented by attorneys with Calwell Luce diTrapano, in Charleston, as well as McCamic Law Firm, John & Warner Law Offices, and Bachman, Hess, Bachman & Garden, all in Wheeling.
All of the women are seeking unspecified damages.
Both women in the new lawsuits said Grimes would “hang out” while they were on work detail at the prison’s chapel, where he would make sexually suggestive comments to them.
Both women said other prison employees saw Grimes’ behavior during work detail and failed to intervene or otherwise report it.
Grimes is described as engaging in a “campaign of inappropriate conduct,” in which he also would show up in the dining hall for the women’s meals during the day and walk through the inmates’ housing units while they slept at night, usually outside of his regular work hours, according to the lawsuit.
Federal Bureau of Prison policy requires inmates to comply with orders given by guards, and the women said they feared discipline and other retaliation if they didn’t comply with Grimes’ commands.
C.L. said Grimes raped her in a bathroom in April 2017 while she was on work detail and another guard was nearby.
From that date, Grimes had sexual contact with C.L. in the bathroom nearly every day while the same guard worked nearby, according to the lawsuit.
After S.B. was attacked by another inmate in October 2017, Grimes allegedly prevented S.B. from properly reporting the incident and deleted photos of her injuries that had been taken by another prison employee. He also allegedly took steps to prevent her from being transferred to another prison to avoid a future attack. He told S.B. he would protect her from her attacker in exchange for sexual favors from her and for her silence regarding his actions, S.B. said in the lawsuit.
Grimes twice made physical contact without S.B’s consent, once kissing her and fondling her breasts, and later sticking his hand down her pants and attempting to penetrate her vagina, according to the lawsuit.
“Captain Grimes told S.B. he was going to have sex with her as soon as he had an opportunity, and he hoped that she would get pregnant as a result so that they could live as a married couple once she was released from [Bureau of Prisons] custody,” according to the lawsuit.
When S.B.’s fiance visited her in prison, Grimes ordered that she undergo extensive body cavity searches, which S.B. said began after Grimes asked her to stop visiting with her fiance and other family members, the lawsuit states.
Grimes pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual abuse of a ward and two counts of abusive sexual contact involving a ward in June 2018, as part of a plea deal in federal court.
U.S. District Judge Irene Berger sentenced Grimes to 10 years in prison, with credit for time he’d already served in jail, and 10 years of supervision after he is released in December 2026.