Attorney who filed Jackson County Jail rape lawsuit hopes it exposes other ills

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- “Where’s there’s smoke there’s fire, and there is a lot of smoke coming out of that building," Nick Dudley said of the latest lawsuit Jackson County is facing.

Dudley filed a lawsuit last week on behalf of a man who says a jail guard handed an inmate cocaine while he raped him.

That man who was serving 30-days at the Jackson County Detention Center on a probation violation for a non-violent offense. The alleged rapist was awaiting trial on rape and sodomy charges of an elderly woman.

“He was brutally attacked because of the same old story at Jackson County Jail. We’ve got overcrowding, we’ve got underfunding, we’ve got maintenance problems, we’ve got supervision problems, and frankly we’ve got a total lack of common sense," Dudley said.

Two weeks after two women at the jail said they were raped by men guards let free in the summer of 2016, Dudley’s client says the same thing happened to him in a medical pod.

The inmate alleged to have committed the attack was in the pod because he was HIV positive. But according to the lawsuit, guards left his door unlocked overnight because he had a clogged toilet. When a much smaller inmate got up to use the restroom, the attacker slammed his head into a urinal and proceeded to rape him.

According to the lawsuit which names a guard only as “Jane Doe” the guard handed the rapist a bag of cocaine as the victim lay bloody on the floor, and left so he could rape him again.

“He was disgusted, he was appalled and he knows he’s not the only person who is experiencing that kind of trauma and that kind of pain," Dudley said of his client.

In April, four Jackson County Detention Center guards were indicted for allegedly beating an inmate in 2015 while he was shackled and not posting a threat to anyone.

Jackson County, the FBI and others have investigated ongoing problems at the jail, but a spokesperson says since they all involve pending litigation she couldn’t comment on what audits have found or changes they’ve made or are considering as a result.

“The safety of inmates and staff at the detention center is always our top priority," a Jackson County spokesperson said.

“It’s illegal to put someone in a jail unless you are going to supervise them, you are going to protect them and make sure their constitutional rights aren’t violated," Dudley countered.

The lawsuit claims three guards tried to get the victim to say he made the whole thing up before he was released from custody. Dudley believes the case will ultimately end up in Federal Court.