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A federal jury in Portland, Oregon, convicted a former Oregon Department of Corrections employee guilty today of sexually assaulting nine female inmates while serving as a nurse at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Oregon’s only women’s prison.
Tony Daniel Klein, 38, of Clackamas County, was convicted of 17 counts of depriving his victims of their constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by sexual assault and four counts of perjury.
“No woman held inside a jail or prison should be subject to sexual assault at the hands of the officials who work there,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Abuses of power and authority, like this, where the defendant took advantage of his position as a medical professional to satisfy his own sexual desires, will not be tolerated, and justice will be pursued. We thank the survivors of these sexual assaults for having the courage to come forward and tell their story. The Civil Rights Division will continue to vigorously hold prison officials accountable when they abuse their authority by committing sexual assault.”
“Tony Klein used his position of authority to prey on women in custody who were in a uniquely vulnerable position. He further led his victims to believe they had no power to resist or report his abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Natalie Wight for the District of Oregon. “This verdict would not have been possible without the courage and resolve of these women and the dedication of our partners at the FBI and Civil Rights Division.”
“The FBI and our partners remain committed to investigating violations of civil rights in all circumstances,” said FBI Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the Criminal Investigative Division. “The defendant in this case exploited the trust placed in him as a corrections nurse to sexually assault women in his care, but thanks to the bravery of the women who came forward, we are able to pursue justice and prevent future victimization.”
According to court documents, from 2010 until January 2018, Klein served as a nurse at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon. In his position, Klein interacted with female inmates who either sought medical treatment or worked as orderlies in the prison’s medical unit. Aided by his access to the women and his position of power as a corrections employee, Klein sexually assaulted or engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct with many female inmates entrusted to his care.
By virtue of his position as a medical provider, Klein was often alone with his victims and assaulted many before, during, or after medical treatment. For women who worked in the medical unit, Klein manufactured reasons to get them alone in secluded areas such as medical rooms, janitor’s closets or behind privacy curtains. Klein made it clear to his victims that he was in a position of power over them, and they would not be believed if they tried reporting his abuse. Fearing punishment if they fought back against or reported his conduct, most of Klein’s victims submitted to his unwanted advances or endured his assaults.
Klein faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Sentencing is set for Oct. 17 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.
Source: U.S. Attorney for Oregon