DANVILLE, Ill. (WAND) - An inmate at the Danville Correctional Center is suing the Illinois Department of Corrections after suffering years of abuse from prisoners and staff, according to a complaint filed in federal court.
According to the 24-page complaint, the transgender inmate is requesting a transfer to a women's prison. The inmate is being called "Tay Tay" to protect her identity.
The suit claims the abuse to Tay Tay has been ongoing for 15 years and she has been a target of vulgar slurs by correctional employees. They also reportedly stood by while she was being physically and sexually assaulted by others.
According to the News-Gazette, she is being incarcerated in 2002 for armed robbery, Tay Tay has been housed at four facilities, including Shawnee, Dixon and Graham. She was transferred to the Danville medium/maximum security prison on March 22.
Attorneys are seeking emergency relief for her to be transferred to a women's facility, "where she can be kept safe from the constant sexual abuse she has been subjected to at the hands of other prisoners and sexual harassment from prisoners and the IDOC staff."
Below are some of the allegations the suit lays out:
- She's continuously sexually harassed by corrections officers and other prisoners because of her gender identity.
- Prisoners are constantly exposing themselves to her and extorting, groping and touching her inappropriately.
- She has suffered numerous sexual assaults because of her gender identity, including early in the morning of June 29, 2018, when she was raped by a cellmate at the Shawnee prison and an officer conducting a cell check did nothing to protect her.
- At Dixon, an officer made "many" derogatory comments toward her and sometimes refused to give her a food tray.
- Soon after moving to Graham, she was bullied and harassed by other prisoners, and one tried to force her to have sex with him.
- Soon after moving to Danville, a prisoner pushed her toward the bathroom and tried to sexually assault her. She was placed with a cellmate who is transphobic and subjected her to derogatory statements.
According to the suit, Tay Tay suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
IDOC spokeswoman Lindsay Hess told the News-Gazette the department couldn't comment on pending litigation.