(RightWing.org) – A former prison nurse has been convicted of a long list of offenses. The 38-year-old man was facing 23 federal charges, mostly related to sexual assault. Now he’s been found guilty of almost all of them.
On July 25, a US District Court in Portland, Oregon, found male nurse Tony Klein guilty of 21 separate offenses, including 17 counts of sexual assault and four of making false statements under oath. From 2010 to 2018, Klein worked as a nurse at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Oregon’s only women’s prison. He resigned when the Oregon State Police launched an investigation into allegations made against him by inmates.
At the trial, the court heard evidence from 17 women inmates who alleged Klein had sexually assaulted nine of them. Some victims said he’d touched them inappropriately; others said he’d pressured them into having sex with him. Klein denied all the charges, and his legal team aggressively attacked the credibility of his accusers. Attorney Amanda Alvarez Thibeault told the jury they were entitled to “consider someone’s criminal history when deciding if you believe them.”
Every year, hundreds of staff members in US prisons are accused of sexually abusing inmates. In about a third of cases, they’re arrested — but they’re rarely actually punished. According to the Justice Department, only 6% of cases end with a conviction or punishment and Klein nearly escaped punishment, too. In August 2018, the Washington County DA’s office decided there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him. It seems the DA didn’t see all the evidence, though. Federal prosecutors did see it all and decided to push ahead with a trial.
When the jury saw the same evidence — which mainly consisted of the testimony of the 17 witnesses — they found Klein guilty after two days of deliberations. Now he could face life in prison.
Copyright 2023, RightWing.org