Lawsuit alleges prison guard raped former inmate - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Lawsuit alleges prison guard raped former inmate

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Olivia Osborne. Source: WBRC video Olivia Osborne. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A former inmate is speaking out about sexual abuse allegations at a Birmingham work release center and why she's now suing the state.

Olivia Osborne calls her time at the center a constant nightmare.

"I was absolutely terrified. I mean absolutely terrified. I was terrified to sleep, terrified to be awake because if you're awake you're afraid you'll run into them," Osborne said.

Osborne says her time at the Birmingham Work Release Center was a nightmare.

"When I got sentenced to prison I got sentenced for a crime I committed, never sentenced to rape, sodomy, abuse," Osborne said.

She's now suing because of what she alleges happened. The lawsuit says in 2011, after Osborne arrived at the facility, a prison guard sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, and tried to rape her on different occasions.

"I reported it to the proper authorities through the prison, there was nothing done about it," Osborne said.

The lawsuit states the guard was transferred to another facility, but the alleged harassment continued.

Osborne says the guard showed up at a hotel where she worked, and allegedly raped her on several different occasions.

Osborne says she reported the rapes to the warden of the facility, Shirley Smith, who said nothing could be done about it.

Osborne claims to address the issue, the warden forced her to take birth control or face punishment.

"This is not the first time a woman has been raped, molested or harassed in a prison is Alabama. It's happened over the years and finally we have someone courageous enough to step up and say this isn't right," Osborne's attorney, Victor Revill, said.

Revill says this lawsuit isn't necessarily about money, he says it's about change.

"If we hadn't stepped in and sued we'd never gotten their attention. Obviously their policy and procedures aren't working because when she complained nothing was done about it all. We're hoping that as part of this that this guy will be prosecuted," Revill said.

"I never ever, ever want it to happen to another female," Osborne said.

Revill says there were other female inmates who witnessed the alleged incidents and are willing to testify.

The defendants in the lawsuit are the warden of the work release center, the prison guard and Kim Thomas, who's the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections.

A spokesperson for the D.O.C. Brian Corbett says officials can't comment on pending litigation.

Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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