Arizona will pay a $3 million settlement to a prison teacher after she was beaten and raped while left unsupervised with a convicted sex offender at state prison.
The teacher filed a lawsuit for $4 million in 2014. She claimed the state engaged in gross negligence and intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and accused the Department of Corrections (DOC) of failing to provide a safe teacher environment according to the the Arizona Republic.
The lawsuit alleged the teacher was attacked at the Arizona State Prison Complex – Eyman in January 2014 while administering at test to seven sex offenders. Six inmates left the room, but Jacob Harvey, 21, stayed behind, according to the suit. The victim said Harvey stabbed her repeatedly with a pen, choked her, slammed her head into the floor and raped her. She said no correctional officers were present, and when she called for help, no one came.
The Phoenix New Times reports the teacher’s lawsuit also accused the DOC of failing to treat Harvey’s mental health needs. Harvey, who has fetal alcohol syndrome, was flagged as high-risk during a mental health assessment, and his family said Harvey wasn’t given treatment.
The teacher told the New Times she’s not sure she’ll ever feel safe in a classroom again.
“No one should go to work and wonder if they’re going to come home at 5 o’clock,” she said. “Regardless of where they work.”
Harvey originally pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea to guilty in August.
In 2015, he was sentenced to life in prison. He was also given sentences for kidnapping and aggravated assault with a dangerous instrument.