Jury awards $2M to female guard for reprisals at Iowa prison
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A jury has awarded $2 million in damages to a former Iowa correctional officer who faced retaliation after complaining she was sexually harassed by inmates.
The Polk County jury made the award Wednesday for lost earnings and emotional distress to Kristine Sink, a former officer at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.
The jury ruled that Sink was the victim of retaliation for bringing an earlier lawsuit, which exposed how inmates at the maximum-security prison were allowed to watch graphic films and masturbate in front of her. Jurors sided with the state and awarded her no damages in 2014.
On Wednesday, jurors found that Sink’s superiors retaliated against Sink days after the 2014 verdict by putting her on leave, investigating her and forcing her to return to direct inmate supervision.