ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey county will pay $475,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by an inmate who claims he was repeatedly threatened and sexually assaulted by a female guard at a juvenile detention center.
The guard, Sherrie Brown-Braswell, was charged in June 2014, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree sexual contact and was given two years’ probation. She had resigned in January 2013.
Union County freeholders approved the settlement on Dec. 3. The Union County Prosecutor’s Office and county officials declined to comment on it.
The inmate, who was 17 years old when he was placed in the county juvenile detention center in Linden, claimed in his lawsuit that Brown-Braswell threatened him and forced him to participate in sex acts from April 2012 through November 2013.
Brown-Braswell’s lawyer said the inmate was 18 when the sexual contact occurred.
According to the suit, the sexual assaults continued after officers and administrators were aware of them in October 2012. Court papers state that Brown-Braswell repeatedly ignored an order to stay away from the inmate.
His lawyer, Brian Schiller, told NJ.com (https://bit.ly/1OlYtuj ) the inmate, now 20, had to force authorities to investigate his claims.
“The prosecutor was going to drop this case. My client had to hire a victim’s advocate to go to court,” Schiller said.
The claims led to the retirement of the detention center superintendent and the resignation of the assistant superintendent.
Information from: NJ.com, https://www.nj.com
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