Judge dismisses lawsuit claiming woman was raped in Cherokee County jail

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

GBI finds claims were unsubstantiated

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former inmate claiming she was raped in the Cherokee County jail.

In the lawsuit, filed in late July, the plaintiff claimed she was raped and physically injured in October 2020 by a deputy in an area of the jail under construction and without cameras. The deputy then allegedly threatened to kill her if she told anyone, the lawsuit stated.

The woman was held in Cherokee during 2019 and 2020 and was part of a jail program called Workforce, the lawsuit states. When she joined the program, she began to hear talk of inmates being sexually abused. Then, the lawsuit stated, she became a victim.

ExploreWoman files federal lawsuit claiming she was raped at Cherokee County jail

In August, Sheriff Frank Reynolds contacted the GBI and requested an independent criminal investigation. The GBI found the allegations unsubstantiated, the Cherokee sheriff’s office said Wednesday.

The former inmate never reported the allegations to law enforcement or the district attorney prior to filing the lawsuit.

“The Cherokee sheriff’s office is an internationally accredited law enforcement agency and we hold the highest standards of care for our inmate population,” Reynolds said in a statement. “We believe this case was without merit and we are pleased with the court’s ruling. We would also like to thank the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for thoroughly investigating the allegations.”

The plaintiff was booked into jail on various drug charges on March 14, 2019. She was accused of being involved in a criminal drug trafficking enterprise and trying to hide evidence of the business, investigators said at the time. She was released on bond July 19, 2019, but arrested again when her bond was revoked that August. She was again released in October 2020, according to the sheriff’s office.