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Second lawsuit against Clark County Jail officers claim 'emotional distress, deliberate indifference' done to women

This lawsuit includes claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, deliberate indifference and negligence caused by Lowe, Noel and unknown officers.

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — Eight women, who wish to remain anonymous, filed a civil rights lawsuit against Jamey Noel, David Lowe, and unknown Clark County Jail officers Monday.

This latest lawsuit includes claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, deliberate indifference, and negligence caused by Lowe, Noel, and the unknown officers.

Attorney Steve Wagner said the eight women filing this lawsuit are separate from the group of women that filed the federal civil lawsuit.

"It was literally two of the worst hours of their lives," Wagner said.

This comes after a June lawsuit where Twenty women accused the Clark County Sheriff's Office of failing to act after they said they were sexually abused inside the southern Indiana jail.

In a federal civil lawsuit filed against the Sheriff's Office in June, the women -- both current and former inmates -- claim they were threatened, assaulted and raped by inmates over the course of multiple hours, and that jail staff failed to act.

The case actually stems from an incident in October 2021. Former jail officer Lowe was fired and arrested last fall after the Sheriff's Office said he agreed to allow inmates access to jail keys that night, during an overnight shift. 

Court records show an inmate promised Lowe $1,000 in exchange.

The lawsuit filed by attorneys Bart Betteau and William P. McCall III goes a step further, claiming the male inmates used the keys to break into the women's jail pods and then both physically and verbally abused them. The suit lists Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel, Lowe and unnamed officers within the Sheriff's Office, accusing them of falling short in their policies.

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"In this case, the jail totally failed on all levels to protect these individuals," McCall said.

The two southern Indiana-based attorneys allege despite screams for help -- that included banging on the doors -- and surveillance cameras, the women weren't given any assistance.

"And all this time, no intervention from the jail over a number of hours. Nothing seen on cameras. Nothing seen by jail officers doing routine checks," Betteau said. "Two [women] were raped. One cannot really imagine the terror and damage that was done."

Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Scotty Maples told WHAS11 the county can't comment on the lawsuit itself, but he did confirm that claims of rape were investigated internally and that at the time, no rape charges had been filed.

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Betteau and McCall said they want answers and are looking into the October 2021 case discovery to figure out how the ball was dropped.

"The one thing you should be able to rely upon when you're in jail is security, that's the one thing you have," Betteau said. "There's no place for them to go."

WHAS11 also contacted Indiana State Police (ISP), who say they're not investigating this case right now, but didn't rule it out if called upon.

Maples also confirmed one of the male inmates accused of being involved in the proposed sale, Jeremy Evans, is still in custody and facing federal charges.

Meanwhile, the criminal jury trial for Lowe is set for September on charges of trafficking with inmate, aiding escape and official misconduct within the jail.

This is the same jail that hosted the television Docuseries 60 Days in, where volunteers recorded life inside the Clark County Jail. It led to the firing of several officers in 2016.

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