Inmate Says Prison Counselor Sexually Assaulted Her after Reporting Guard for Rape
By Joshua Rhett Miller
New York Post
May 30, 2018
A former inmate in Missouri was repeatedly raped by a prison guard before reporting the attacks to a mental health counselor — who also sexually assaulted her, according to a federal lawsuit.
Karen Backues Keil was released from the Chillicothe Correctional Center in February 2017 after a six-year prison stint for forgery and theft, but she still battles the stress and sorrow associated with “the hell” of being raped more than 20 times by prison guard Edward Bearden, her lawsuit alleges.
“I can’t get over it,” Keil told the Kansas City Star. “It’s there every second of the day. I have to think about it and I have to fight those thoughts in my head that I deserved this. And I didn’t. Nobody deserves what I went through.”
Keil’s lawsuit, which was filed earlier this week, claims Bearden — who still works at the 1,640-inmate, mixed-custody women’s facility — began touching her inappropriately during pat-downs by groping her breasts and backside. That later escalated to repeated rapes between 2012 and 2015, according to her lawsuit.
Keil then sought help from a prison counselor following the alleged sexual assaults, but less than a month after she started therapy sessions with counselor John Thomas Dunn, he too began sexually assaulting her, the lawsuit claims.
Dunn, who pleaded guilty last year to sexual conduct with another prisoner, allegedly tried to downplay his own inappropriate actions while discussing the allegations against the guard, saying, “Did Bearden do it like this?”
Dunn also told Keil that she would likely be thrown into solitary confinement if she reported Bearden’s alleged assaults to prison officials.
Dunn is set to be sentenced on June 12 after pleading guilty in April to sexual conduct with a prisoner. A prosecutor has recommended a four-year suspended prison sentence in that case, according to Chillicothe News. Keil’s attorney, John Ammann, told the Kansas City Star that Keil was not involved in the incident.
An attorney for Dunn declined comment when reached by the newspaper, saying he had yet to fully review the allegations.
Bearden did not reply to messages at his home and the prison Tuesday, the Kansas City Star reports. A message seeking comment from Missouri Department of Corrections officials was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Keil said she tried to move on with her life after being released from prison but battled nightmares and the trauma associated with Bearden trying to contact her by asking her fellow inmates about her future plans. Bearden also allegedly asked if Keil was married or where she might work once out of custody. Keil felt empowered to speak out after seeing a therapist outside of prison, she said.
“I thought I could shove all this down inside me and not have to think about it again, but it just doesn’t work that way,” Keil told the newspaper.