Prisons

This Florida Prison Guard Allegedly Paralyzed an Inmate. Now He's Been Arrested for Child Molestation

Inmates say Keith Turner abused them for a decade. Now children have stepped forward with complaints of molestation.

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A Florida prison guard accused of breaking a female inmate's neck in a vicious attack, and who has a long history of inmate complaints alleging physical and sexual abuse, was arrested Wednesday on charges of molesting two minors.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of Keith Turner on charges of sexual battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious exhibition, and a second count of lewd and lascivious molestation in a second case.

According to the sheriff's office, Turner's accuser wrote a letter to a family member saying Turner began abusing her on a nightly basis when she was 6, and that the abuse continued until she was 16. During the investigation, detectives interviewed another juvenile who said she was sexually abused by Turner.

As Reason reported, Turner is one of two correctional officers named in a civil rights lawsuit accusing him of paralyzing an inmate at Lowell Correctional Institution, Florida's largest women's prison, where Turner watched over the vulnerable population for nearly a decade.

On Aug. 21, Lowell inmate Cheryl Weimar was admitted to the hospital with severe neck trauma. According to her lawsuit, Weimar, who has a history of mental illness, complained that she couldn't clean toilets because of pain from a pre-existing hip condition. This led to a confrontation with Turner and another guard, according to Weimar's lawsuit. 

Weimar tried to declare a psychological emergency. Under department policy, the guards should have called for medical personnel. Instead, Weimar's lawsuit alleges, Turner and the other officer slammed her to the ground and began beating her. At least one guard elbowed the back of her neck, the suit says. Weimar was then dragged "like a rag doll" to an area not covered by surveillance cameras.

Weimar is now quadriplegic, according to the lawsuit.

Records released last week in the lawsuit revealed that Turner had a decade-long history of inmate complaints against him alleging excessive force, sexual abuse and misconduct, racial slurs, and sadistic punishments that included leaving a handcuffed woman in 93-degree heat for 3 hours while calling her a "fat pig." Another inmate told sheriff's deputies that she witnessed Turner and another officer trading contraband cigarettes for oral sex.

None of that stopped Turner, who at some point was promoted to lieutenant, until this August.

Weimar's hospitalization sent shockwaves through the state, drew national media coverage, and put a gruesome spotlight on Florida's problem-ridden and wildly expensive prison system, especially Lowell, where inmates have long alleged sexual abuse and violence by guards.

Last August, the Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation into pervasive misconduct and sexual assaults by correctional staff at Lowell. A 2015 Miami Herald investigation found numerous accusations of assaults, retaliation, filthy conditions, inadequate healthcare, and suspicious deaths at the prison, as well as "an inadequate number of cameras," which allows guards to hide brutality.

Democratic Florida state Rep. Dianne Hart said in a statement today that she applauds the Marion County Sheriff's Office for making the arrest. "However, with over 130 pages of documented official FDOC incident reports detailing the horrors that Lt. Turner inflicted on the women of Lowell Correctional sitting on my desk and Cheryl Weimar with a broken neck," she continued, "I find it absolutely disgusting that Lt. Keith Turner still has a place at FDOC, and I pray that justice is served in all cases involving Lt. Turner."

After Weimar's hospitalization, the state launched several investigations into the incident, and Turner and the other guard were reassigned to jobs where they would not have contact with inmates.

Following his arrest, the FDOC says it is moving to fire Turner immediately.

"The Sheriff's findings in this case against Mr. Turner are abhorrent and in complete contrast to the values and integrity held by our staff," FDOC Secretary Mark Inch said in a press statement. "We are moving forward with his immediate dismissal."

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  1. Prison guards are people who were too sociopathic to be police. Think about that for a minute.

    1. And they have an even better union than the police do. Think about THAT for a minute.

      1. in complete contrast to the values and integrity held by our staff

        Think about THAT for a minute.

  2. If all of this is true…This guy gets the needle. Pure and simple.

    1. The needle…and the spoon?

      1. LOL…nice Lynard Skynard reference, Unicorn. One of my favorite rock bands. No, I mean the hypodermic needle with life-terminating drugs. This asshole gets the death sentence.

        And the state of FL has some serious ‘splaining to do.

    2. put the needle on the record.

    3. This is where I favor Libertarian Island. You don’t want to follow the rules of the society we have here? You get to go live on the island where we send the other people who don’t believe the rules of civilized behavior apply to them, either. You think it’s okay for you to rape and rob and steal and assault and brutalize people? Well so do all your new neighbors. Let us know how that works out for you.

      1. It ends in Australia.

        1. Those evil bread stealers

      2. The only place left is Antarctica. Hey, that’s not a bad idea. Naked and Afraid style!

  3. “C.J. CIARAMELLA | 11.7.2019 4:13 PM”

    Blowing more whistles with fake news are you?

    1. Nobody is supposed to know that!

  4. Where does Florida get its prison guards?
    Auschwitz?

    1. No, Auschwitz gets its prison guards from Florida.

    2. If it makes you feel better, we can pretend they come from Auschwitz. The sad thing is, they get them the same place everybody else gets them – right out of the same neighborhoods you get plumbers and nurses and factory workers and accountants and truck drivers and everybody else. Prison guards aren’t monsters, some of them are just mean, nasty, cruel people given a license to be mean and nasty and cruel. And not all the mean, nasty, cruel people become prison guards, some become cops or teachers or DMV employees or other assorted government workers.

  5. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks this only came to light because they want to get rid of him without admitting that anything he did wrong was job-related. I’d bet money his scumthug background was part of what qualified him for the job.

    1. His co-workers probably got sick of the attention he was bringing to them.

    2. I have to admit that it does quite conveniently allow them to remove and prosecute him as people have been clamoring for, without ever once acknowledging any wrongdoing within the prison itself.

  6. Turner began abusing her on a nightly basis when she was 6, and that the abuse continued until she was 16.

    *looks at mug shot*

    Yep, that checks out.

    1. Even grading on a Florida curve?

      1. That guy is rather collected for a Florida mugshot – hence our suspicion.

  7. Is “Lowell inmate Cheryl Weimar” an illegal sub-human? If so, we should know that (please, reason writers?) so that all of the Conservatard commentors here can pillory her for being sub-human!

    If she is NOT a sub-human, then let’s all please carry on, in condemning the barbarity of the State, and its hired-thug barbarians! But ONLY if “Lowell inmate Cheryl Weimar” has her “papers please”, to prove that she is NOT an illegal sub-human! Let’s NOT waste our sympathies on those sub-humans who deserve NO mercy at ALL!

    1. My understanding is that she was caught with a plastic lung flute.

      1. Bravo!!! That makes her DOUBLY a WITCH! Burn her!

        1. The witches have their whats in a knot.

      2. Sure it wasn’t a flung lute?

        1. My Momma told me, never run with scissors, and never let a flung lute hit one in the head! ALWAYS be on the lookout for flung lutes!

          (A helmet, or at the VERY least, a tin-foil hat, is an EXCELLENT prophylactic measure against flung lutes! I go one step above and beyond that, to wear an “anti-matter hat”, which fends off “that which does not matter”!))

    2. We all defer to your superior insight.

      Idiot.

      1. “We all defer to your superior insight.

        Idiot.”

        Which is it? The two are diametrically opposed, if you’ve not noticed! Do you have schizophrenia? If so… It is DANGEROUS! Get it treated right away!

        Or is schizophrenia the intellectual fashion of the day, in your mind? If so… Please read on!

        Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

        So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

        Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

        Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

        Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

        At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

        Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to ReasonNeedsBrilliantlyPersuasiveWriters@Reason.com .

        Thank You! -Reason Staff

  8. Wow, they wouldn’t fire him until a couple of kids got molested? Beating and torturing people wasn’t enough? Keith Turner is a sick motherfucker that should hang, after spending a long time in prison for some “correction.”

  9. Turner and the other guard were reassigned to jobs where they would not have contact with inmates.

    With any luck, he’ll be back with the FL prison system, where he will once again have “contact with inmates”.

    1. With any luck, they’ll be re-gauging his anus within the week!

  10. Weimar tried to declare a psychological emergency.

    She was then attacked by an unhinged psychopath, proving her right.

    1. “oh you have no idea, lady”

    2. I’m curious, is Weimar a Republican?

      1. He does have an overinflated sense of self.

        1. That’s a Germany joke.

          1. Oh the humanity!

  11. A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections said the department is now moving forward with Turner’s dismissal.

    He’ll end his final shift on the day he’s to start his own sentence.

    1. And when he’s reinstated, he’ll get double-triple overtime for all those weekends and evenings.

  12. “Bombshell” impeachment testimony is pure BS:

    Rep. Lee Zeldin shared a portion of the transcript during his line of questioning, and the testimony takes “hearsay” to the next level

    Click through to see the relevant part of the transcript. Un-freaking-believable.

    1. It is unbelievable. I has never considered ‘fourth hand’ information. 🙂

      Total bullshit. He needs to be reassigned to desk duty in the US.

  13. Weimar is now quadriplegic, according to the lawsuit.

    If she hadn’t filed the lawsuit she wouldn’t be quadriplegic!

    Yet another fine exampleof how, Reason has given up on investigative journalism and journalistic integrity and are just defecating via keyboard onto the internet. Dudes’ a scumbag and deserves whatever punishment’s coming his way but damned if Reason isn’t punishing us by reporting it.

    1. Man, you sure have a talent for finding things to complain about.

    2. How do you get that? It says “according to the lawsuit,” not “because of the lawsuit.”

      In other words, they are saying that the information about her quadriplegia is derived from the documents of the lawsuit.

  14. Florida Man Goes Too Far.

    1. Even for Florida.

    2. Ends up in Alabama.

  15. “The Sheriff’s findings in this case against Mr. Turner are abhorrent and in complete contrast to the values and integrity held by our staff,” FDOC Secretary Mark Inch said in a press statement.

    I don’t know about a complete contrast to the values and integrity held by your staff. Maybe just the part where you’re not supposed to get caught.

  16. “The Sheriff’s findings in this case against Mr. Turner are abhorrent and in complete contrast to the values and integrity held by our staff,”

    Mr Turner was one of your staff. But thanks for trying.

  17. “ Weimar, who has a history of mental illness, complained that she couldn’t clean toilets because of pain from a pre-existing hip condition.”

    BOTH SIDES!!!!!

    1. I don’t think they’re both sides-ing this here. Including the detail about previous mental illness puts the subsequent attempt to declare a psychological emergency into context. It’s relevant, in other words.

  18. These charges are from children who are notoriously unreliable witnesses and easily manipulated. Probably a moral panic like in the 80s McMartin Case.

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