Inmate rape suit claims negligence by Rockview officials

An inmate at Rockview state prison is claiming that negligence was a factor in his rape.

The 19-year-old Philadelphia native serving five to 10 years on a host of charges including aggravated assault and robbery with the infliction of serious bodily injury, says that he was moved into a cell with another inmate on July 19, without authorization of the unit manager.

The man claims that two days later, he approached Sgt. Nathaniel Wilt, saying he felt uncomfortable and the other inmate was behaving aggressively toward him.

On July 23, the plaintiff claims he was raped by his cellmate in the early morning hours, an assault he says lasted 30 to 40 minutes. According to court documents, the victim screamed for help, and other inmates tried to get corrections officers to respond, too, but no one responded.

In the suit, the victim names Wilt as being in breach of duty, asking $50,000. Two unnamed corrections officers were listed as being charged with conspiracy to commit negligence, also for $50,000. Superintendent Steven Glunt is also a named party in the suit.

The state Department of Corrections had no comment on the specific suit.

“(DOC) has a zero tolerance for institutional sexual abuse. We strive to maintain a safe and secure environment for all who are in our custody. We have developed policy and procedures in accordance iwth the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act standards. In addition, we have developed educational materials for both staff and offenders,” said spokeswoman Susan Bensinger.

No charges have been filed against the inmate named as the rapist, according to court records.

On Friday, inmate Omar Best was sentenced to life in prison for the 2013 rape and violent assault of a Rockview clerical worker.