Lawsuit alleges sex assaults by former Stephenson Co. jail offic - – Rockford’s News Leader

Lawsuit alleges sex assaults by former Stephenson Co. jail officer


A lawsuit has been filed against former Stephenson County Jail correctional officer Darrell Wright, alleging he sexually assaulted a woman in custody. 

The lawsuit says the assaults occurred between April and August 2013 when Wright allegedly forced the female inmate to perform sexual interactions. 

Listed as defendants in the lawsuit are Wright, Sheriff David Snyders, jail Administrator Dean Schroeder, and John Doe officers who worked the same overnight shift as Wright when the alleged assaults occurred. 

Attorney Bob Fagan says Snyders and Schroeder are simply listed in the lawsuit because of their employment and not to point any wrongdoing done by them. 

However, Fagan says Wright "could not have done this on his own" and would have had to have complicity by the John Doe officers. Fagan says there are surveillance cameras in the jail that point toward the women's unit of the building, but not inside the specific cell where the alleged assaults took place. Fagan says footage shows Wright at the cell door during his overnight shift hours. Correctional officers can not access cell blocks or individual cells without another correctional officer providing access from a master control room, the lawsuit states. 

The assaults were reported by the female victim's cellmate in Aug. 2013 after a meeting with her public defender.

Fagan says both women did not know what to do and were intimidated. The lawsuit says the plaintiffs feared retaliation if they used an electronic kiosk system at the jail to report the assaults. Those messages could have been accessed by correctional officers, including Wright. 

Fagan says from a legal stand point, sexual interactions between an officer and an inmate can not be considered consensual. . 

Wright is no longer employed at the Stephenson County Jail. Sheriff Snyders petitioned for disciplinary hearings after the initial allegations were made, which led to Wright's termination. 

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