Teacher raped in prison by sex offender reaches settlement

December 29, 2015 5:27 am

An Arizona prison teacher who was left alone in a classroom and then
raped by a convicted sex offender has reached a settlement in her
lawsuit accusing corrections officials of failing to protect her.
General Mark Brnovich said on Tuesday the case was “settled to the
satisfaction of all parties” and that his office strives to pursue
justice in every case.
However, a settlement notice didn’t
specify terms of the deal, and Brnovich told the Associated Press that a
confidentiality provision barred him from discussing the details.
The teacher’s 2014 lawsuit didn’t specify damages sought, but she had previously filed a claim seeking $4 million.
Her attorney, Scott Zwillinger, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Harvey was sentenced to life in prison this year after pleading guilty
to the January 2014 rape at the Eyman state prison in Florence. He was
in the first year of a 30-year term for raping a suburban Phoenix woman
during a home invasion.
Harvey repeatedly stabbed the teacher with a pen before raping her, according to investigative reports and the teacher.

The state’s workplace safety agency fined the Corrections
Department $14,000 for failing to ensure the teacher’s safety, but that
fine is being appealed.
After the rape, prison officials sent a
vague release that referred to an assault on an employee. The
details of the assault came to light after the AP obtained documents
under a public records request and interviewed people familiar with the
The teacher told the AP in an interview last year that she felt traumatised by the attack.
The workplace-safety investigation was launched in July after the AP story provided the first detailed account of the assault.
lawsuit accused prison employees of failing to establish proper
security. It also said the department’s health-care provider didn’t
assess Harvey properly, allowing him to be classified as a low-risk
Corrections Department spokesman Doug Nick last year
called the assault a “cowardly and despicable crime” but also said the
department disputed the lawsuit’s allegations.
The attorney
general’s office argued unsuccessfully in court that the lawsuit should
be thrown out. Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Weisbard wrote that
the teacher routinely worked in classrooms and there was always a risk
of assault when working with prisoners.
However, the judge
refused to dismiss the lawsuit, saying it raised plausible allegations
that top officials created a dangerous environment that led to the rape.
the assault, prison officials installed cameras in prison classrooms,
increased patrols and issued pepper spray to civilian workers. They have
said issuing pepper spray was planned before the rape.

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