Jailhouse Sexual Shaming Alleged in Lawsuit

In Hawaii


not a vacation spot

A former female inmate at the Kauai Community Correctional Center in Hawaii is suing the state's department of public safety and Neal Wagatsuma, the warden at Kauai. The former inmate, Alexandria Gregg, is seeking class action status for a lawsuit that alleges the warden practiced sexual shaming against her and other female inmates. Via the Garden Island:

"During open public meetings of male and female detainees in front of KCCC staff members, defendant Wagatsuma repeatedly forced plaintiff and other class members to stand at a podium and speak about their private, intimate and traumatizing sexual experience," the complaint states. "Wagatsuma asked plaintiff what kind of drugs she used, whether she had sex while on drugs, and how many partners plaintiff previously had sex relations with."

It claims that the warden ordered Gregg to elaborate on previous incidents of rape as well as sexual preferences. The public questionings were videotaped by male detainees, the suit states, while Gregg and other alleged victims were instructed to stand at the podium during the "public shamings."

"Defendant Wagatsuma would often film these public sexual shamings. Typically, the detainees selected for filming were young attractive women," the complaint reads.

At one point, a male detainee asked Gregg questions about whether she enjoyed certain sexual acts, which the warden did nothing to stop, the suit claims.

The lawsuit claims other jail employees didn't respond to complains about the shaming out of fear of retribution. Hawaii doesn't have county jail facilities. Kauai houses both male and female inmates, and touts, among other services, its "substance abuse treatment" as well as a "Lifetime Stand Program" which it describes as "a structured, paramilitary regimen of marching, drill exercises, physical training, education, and community outreach." Corrections officers, saving the world.