Sexual Assault Allegations Emerge At SCI - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Sexual Assault Allegations Emerge At SCI

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GEORGETOWN, Del. - Inmates at Sussex Correctional Institution are alleging assault at the hands of someone who was contracted to provide medical treatment.

In a complaint filed Monday, nine inmates say Dr. Lawrence McDonald "touched, fondled and digitally penetrated inmates against their will, for no legitimate medical reason."

"I think that the fact that they've come forward with these kind of details takes some intestinal fortitude," said Stephen Hampton, the attorney representing four of the nine inmates.   

They say it happened between 2008 and 2013 when McDonald worked for companies hired to provide medical services to SCI. They claim complaints and grievances went unanswered for years, and their options for medical providers were slim.

"You go to who they put there or you don't get any care," Hampton said.

In a statement to 47 ABC, the Delaware Department of Correction says:

"The Department of Correction has not been provided with a copy of the lawsuit as of this time. In addition, the status of pending litigation limits what information and comments the DOC would be able to provide."

Similarly, Correct Care Solutions has provided medical services to SCI for the last four years and also says it can't comment pending litigation. But adds:

"... we take great pride in the care we provide our patients within the DE Department of Correction.  CCS employs over 200 dedicated healthcare staff within the State of DE who are dedicated to ensuring appropriate care to our patient population."

The complaint is very early on in the legal system, but Hampton hopes it will eventually allow his clients to appear in the court of law as plaintiffs.

"I mean inmates, people tend to doubt them," Hampton said. "'Well, they're inmates, they must be lying. And the correctional officer must be telling the truth.  And the doctor must be telling the truth.' Well, that's not always true."

SCI and the company that employed McDonald will have a chance to respond to the complaint before any further legal or trial decisions are made.

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