Judge denies state's motion to dismiss prison rape lawsuit

A Federal judge has ruled that a civil lawsuit filed by a Department of Corrections teacher, who says she was raped by a sex offender in a classroom, will go forward. 

The judge dismissed the states motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but it's what the state argued in that motion that has upset a lot of people.

The judge ruled the teacher raised legitimate allegations that the prison warden and others created a dangerous environment that led to the rape.

21-year-old Jacob Harvey has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on rape charges in connection with the teacher's attack last year.

The civil suit alleges the teacher was put in a room full of sex offenders, by herself before being stabbed and raped. And that the state knew she could have been harmed, but they ignored it.

Monday, the state argued the case should be dismissed because the teacher can't prove that. In a motion to dismiss, the Assistant Attorney General wrote, "The teacher routinely worked in classrooms, and there is always a risk of assault when working with prisoners."

Her attorney says the AG's office is blaming the victim.

Legal Analyst Monica Lindstrom says the state is not blaming the victim, only differentiating her case from another case the teacher's attorney cited, where a woman was stranded on the road in a high crime area and raped.

"He is saying part of the difference is, in this case she was an employee of the prison, she had some sort of knowledge of the circumstances the surroundings. She has worked in a prison before, so she knew of the danger to a certain extent, not that it's her fault, but that she knew of the danger, knew there could have been a danger, where in that other case it was a civilian who had no idea what could happen," said Monica Lindstrom.

The Attorney Generals office released a statement saying they are taking steps to make sure justice is served for the victim. 
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