14:29 GMT17 April 2021
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    A woman who was repeatedly raped by a guard in Milwaukee County Jail where she was held four years ago was awarded $6.7 million by a federal jury on Wednesday.

    The county is liable for damages as Xavier Thicken, the guard in question, was engaged in his duties as a county employee at the time of time of the assaults. 

    The victim, who was pregnant when she first arrived at the jail, had also been shackled during childbirth, an act the jury found to have "no legitimate government purpose." Attorney Theresa Kleinhaus, who helped litigate the case, said that since the woman was not found to be injured from this incident she was awarded no damages.

    Kleinhaus said the victim "was raped repeatedly at the age of 19. She sought justice and she is glad the system delivered that justice,"  according to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. 

    "She hopes to prevent other women from being sexually assaulted in the Milwaukee County Jail."

    The woman was pleased with the verdict, according to the attorney. She testified that she still had nightmares about Thicken, who raped her in different locations throughout the jail facility.

    Thicklen was fired from his position and charged with several counts of sexual assault. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of felony misconduct.

    Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, notorious for his strident criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement and who President Donald Trump recently picked to serve in the Department of Homeland Security, said that shackling pregnant women is a necessary precaution to protect hospital staff. He defended the practice in a deposition.

    Clarke’s jail has drawn much attention lately, as four inmates died last year while in the jail’s custody with another suing after her baby died shortly after she gave birth.

    One inmate, 38-year-old Terrill Thomas, died of dehydration in his solitary confinement cell in April 2016 after jail officials cut off water access to his cell for a week.

    Another female inmate filed a lawsuit in March for being shackled while she was giving birth, a case that is still pending. 


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    guard, Prison, jail, rape, Sheriff David A. Clark, Wisconsin, Milwaukee, US
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