14 charged in Ga. in abuse of female prisoners

November 14, 1992|By New York Times News Service

HARDWICK, Ga. -- Fourteen former employees of the Georgia women's prison here were indicted yesterday on rape and sexual abuse charges in what is being called one of the worst episode of its kind in the history of U.S. women's prisons.

The indictments of 10 men and four women, including a former deputy warden, stem from a 1984 lawsuit against the prison that has cited abuses including the trading of sex for favors from prison employees, coerced abortions and an incident in which a mentally disturbed woman was stripped and hogtied.

Officials say that at least 119 female prisoners have been identified as victims and that the continuing investigation is almost certain to lead to more indictments.

"It's a good start," said Robert Cullen, the lawyer for the inmates.

Mr. Cullen, who has been involved in prison lawsuits in several other states, said the scope and severity of the problems uncovered in Georgia was "unprecedented."

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation began an inquiry this year after more than 100 prisoners spoke out as part of the lawsuit.

The indictments said the incidents occurred in places ranging from a warden's house to a prison restroom.

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