Police say inmates beat annex guard Sex assault attempt made at correction facility

March 05, 1996|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

A correctional officer at the Maryland House of Correction Annex in Jessup was beaten by inmates in an attempted sexual assault Sunday night in the prison's kitchen, according to state police and the Maryland Division of Correction.

Maxine Eldridge, spokeswoman for the division, said the officer was found in a semiconscious state about 7: 15 p.m. with head wounds.

Ms. Eldridge said the attackers tried to assault the guard sexually, but were unsuccessful. Because of the nature of the attack, she did not reveal the guard's name. The Sun does not print the names of victims of sexual assault. The officer was in stable condition at an area hospital, Ms. Eldridge said.

Police reported that at least five maximum-security inmates were seen running from the area a short time before the victim was found. No charges have been filed.

M. Kim Howard, president of the Maryland Correctional Union, said the officer was in danger because she was stationed by herself with prisoners and should have had another guard as a partner. "She should not have been there alone," Ms. Howard said.

Ms. Eldridge said she could not confirm whether the officer was alone at the time of the attack.

Ms. Howard said two other correctional officers were assaulted, one with a broomstick, in the past 14 months. In December 1994, a psychologist at the Maryland House of Correction Annex was sexually assaulted in her office by an inmate. Ms. Howard said she had met with an aide to Gov. Parris N. Glendening to complain about understaffing at the prison as recently as last month. Mr. Glendening agreed to fill 30 vacancies at the prison and add security cameras. The new officers are scheduled to begin work around the middle of this month. Pub Date: 3/05/96

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