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Prison nurse raped inmate with cancer who depended on him for chemotherapy, feds say | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


A prison nurse in Oregon preyed on inmates who depended on him for medical care by sexually assaulting them, including those with chronic medical conditions such as breast cancer, according to federal prosecutors.

While working for the state Department of Corrections, Tony Daniel Klein, 39, was confident no one would believe at least nine women who reported the sexual abuse because of their status as inmates at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, the only all-women prison in Oregon, prosecutors said.

He “was a sexual predator in a lab coat with access to some of Oregon’s most powerless women,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.

One woman with breast cancer relied on Klein for chemotherapy, a treatment she consistently received late in prison, according to court documents.

When Klein called her down to the prison’s medical unit one day for the treatment, she felt “relieved, because she needed her life-saving chemotherapy injection and felt like someone — (Klein) — finally cared enough to make sure she got that injection,” she later testified in court, a sentencing memorandum says.

Before administering the injection, he sexually assaulted her and immediately after the injection “he pushed her against the exam table and vaginally raped her,” according to the sentencing memo.

Klein, who began working as Coffee Creek Correctional Facility’s nurse in 2010, resigned in January 2018, two months after one inmate reported him to authorities, the sentencing memo says.

Now, Klein has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison on charges accusing him of sexually assaulting nine female inmates, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced in an Oct. 17 news release.

On July 25, he was convicted on 17 counts of depriving the women of their constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by sexual assault and four counts of perjury, prosecutors said.

“We know this prison sentence cannot undo the trauma Tony Klein inflicted on numerous victims, but we hope this brings them one step closer to healing,” Kieran L. Ramsey, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Portland field office, said in a statement.

Amanda Thibeault, one of the defense attorneys representing Klein, said he is innocent and that he’s been wrongfully convicted in a statement to McClatchy News on Oct. 18.

“He has consistently denied committing any of these offenses and has passed two separate polygraph examinations by two different polygraphers that have confirmed his denials,” Thibeault said.

Attorneys plan to appeal Klein’s conviction, according to Thibeault.

‘Traumatizing and wrong’

Klein started sexually abusing women at the prison in at least 2013 or 2014, according to the sentencing memo.

In addition to women who sought medical care, Klein would also target inmates who worked alongside him during their assignments as orderlies in the prison’s medical unit, prosecutors said.

“All of the women he sexually assaulted and abused were united by a single commonality: they were in prison, where they had little power and agency over their daily lives,” prosecutors wrote. “(He) exploited that lack of power.”

In addition to the nine women Klein is convicted of sexually assaulting, he’s accused of sexually abusing several more women, the sentencing memo says.

Seventeen women testified against him in court ahead of his sentencing and described how he’d touch them above and underneath their clothes, grope their breasts, force them to perform oral sex and rape them “against an exam table,” the sentencing memo says.

The women said they felt deterred from reporting him because they needed medical treatment or they feared they might lose certain privileges in prison — including their assigned jobs and time allowed to see family members, according to the sentencing memo.

For some of the 17 women, it was their first time speaking publicly about their experiences as he was present in the courtroom, the sentencing memo says.

One woman described the abuse as “traumatic and traumatizing and wrong,” and said a “woman in her thirties knows when she is being touched the wrong way,” according to the sentencing memo.

For at least two women, the thought of testifying against Klein in trial was so stressful it resulted in them relapsing on drugs, the sentencing memo says.

After being assaulted, some women “delayed or avoided medical treatment, both at Coffee Creek and even after being released, because they felt unable to trust a medical provider after what the defendant did to them,” prosecutors wrote.

Klein’s prison sentence will be followed by five years of supervised release, according to prosecutors.

“The sentence in this case should send a significant message to any official working inside jails and prisons across our country, including those who provide medical care, that they will be held accountable when they sexually assault women inmates in their custody,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.

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