Convicted Child Molester, Rapist Sues County After Being Raped In Prison: Justice?

On Tuesday, August 12, a convicted child molester and rapist reportedly filed a civil rights lawsuit after he was raped in prison. Due to the state’s policy in regards to victims of sexual assault, the man’s name has not been released. According to the Union Bulletin, the vicious attack took place inside the Garfield County Jail in Pomeroy, WA back in 2011.

The plaintiff was being held at the county jail on charges of raping a child and child molestation when the heinous acts began on August 20, 2011. The court documents recounted the man’s life as Markwell’s cellmate.

The complaint, which was filed with the Walla Walla County Superior Court, stated the man was placed inside a cell with another inmate identified as John Markwell. The victim reportedly “feared for his safety,” describing Markwell as “abusive and intimidating.” The plaintiff was reportedly raped by Markwell “at least three times.”

No further details have been released in reference to the victim’s claims, the allegations do have merit. Markwell is currently serving a life sentence Washington State Penitentiary due to his disturbing history of violent sex crimes. Given his history as a persistent offender, he was charged with three counts of forcible rape and convicted on May 9, 2012 by a jury. Although Markwell is serving time for committing the crime, the plaintiff is still seeking justice because he feels the county failed to protect him.

On Wednesday, August 13, the plaintiff’s attorney, Lee Rousso, shared his perspective of rape behind bars.


“People who are incarcerated are extremely vulnerable. Prison rape and jail rape are huge problem,” Rousso, said during the interview. “From my perspective these are extremely serious allegations, and I hope that Garfield County will take them seriously.”

The plaintiff also plead guilty to the charges of child rape and molestation. He is currently serving a 10-year sentence at the Monroe Corrections Center. He is reportedly suffering from “severe emotional distress,” with anxiety and nightmares due to his tumultuous experience in county jail. Given the nature of his own crimes, do you think his rape was a form of justice?

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