Former Milwaukee inmate awarded $6.7M for alleged rape

Posted at 10:37 AM, Jun 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-08 11:19:18-04

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A former inmate who says a Milwaukee County jail officer sexually assaulted her while she was pregnant in 2013 has been awarded $6.7 million.

But the federal jury on Wednesday rejected the woman's claim that she was unconstitutionally shackled while giving birth during her incarceration. Sheriff David Clarke defended the practice in a 2015 deposition as necessary to protect hospital staff, saying doctors can ask for shackles to be removed if medically necessary.

Prosecutors charged Xavier Thicklen with sexual assault of the inmate but dismissed the charges in 2014 in exchange for his guilty plea of felony misconduct in public office.

Jurors found Wednesday that Thicklen was acting as a county employee when the alleged assaults happened. He's no longer employed by Milwaukee County, which is expected to appeal.