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Inmate Claims She Was Assaulted at County Jail

Marissa Stone
The New Mexican
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

An inmate at the Santa Fe County jail told police she was sexually assaulted by a male jail guard at the facility last week.

The woman alleged Saturday that the guard touched her intimately on more than one occasion, including Friday, at the jail, Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano said.

The woman's charges follow a damaging report about the jail by the U.S. Department of Justice this spring that preceded the firing of the jail's warden and his second in command. The federal report accused jail managers of violating the constitutional rights of inmates.

The Sheriff's Department will investigate the inmate's rape allegations, Santa Fe County Sheriff's Maj. Ron Madrid said. The guard has not been charged with a crime.

After reporting the assault Saturday, the inmate was seen by a nurse at St. Vincent Hospital this weekend, Solano said.

The accused guard was on vacation for several days and will be back today, the sheriff said. After the guard returns, jail officials will decide whether to suspend him during the criminal investigation, Solano added.

The Santa Fe County Adult Detention Center has been operated for the county under contract since 2001 by a Utah-based private company, Management and Training Corp. The future of that contract is jeopardized by the Department of Justice report, which recommended 53 actions the jail should take to improve conditions.

MTC fired Warden Cody Graham and Maj. Greg Lee after the report was released. Warden Steve Hargett began managing the 670-bed jail south of Santa Fe in April.

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