Special Report: Assault Accusations Behind Bars

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — A former inmate at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail says a lack of oversight in the jail’s medical unit allowed a male inmate to harass and expose himself to her. 

The man who Stephany Botkin claimed sexually harassed her, 29-year-old Dejuan Todd, was found guilty earlier this week.

She says it all happened while she was trying to recover from a seizure in the jail’s medical unit. 

“It was like a constant repetitive thing and he told me when my cell door popped he was going to show me what he was about,” Botkin said.

Botkin says when he exposed himself, he also touched his genitals outside of her cell for about 20 minutes.

A local jail official says policies require guards to check on inmates twice an hour. 

“I was scared, I felt alone. Even now, to this day, I have flashbacks all the time,” explained Botkin.

Police say Botkin isn’t the only one inmate who made allegations against Todd. 

“On April 5 it was reported to us that a male inmate by the name of Dejuan Todd had masturbated in front of two female inmates on two separate occasions. One of those female inmates also reported that he had touched her inappropriately during that same day,” said James City County Public Information Officer Stephanie Williams. 

Todd was charged with sexual battery and two counts of indecent exposure. 

He was ultimately found guilty of exposing himself to Botkin. 

However, the charges involving the second female inmate were set aside.

A prosecutor says Todd was working, washing clothes in a laundry room across from the medical unit, and that he also seemed to be friendly with the male guard in charge of securing the area. 

Williams says the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail also conducted their own investigation after the incident.

Williams didn’t know the outcome of the jail’s internal investigation, so 10 On Your Side reached out to jail officials. 

We wanted to know how often they check on inmates, their policy on keeping female and male inmates separate, and if those protocols were followed in this case.

After multiple attempts, a staff member said the jail had no comment and referred us back to police.

An interview request with Todd was denied.

10 On Your Side then reached out to an official with PREA, which stands for the Prison Rape Elimination Act. 

It’s a statewide agency that works with the Virginia Department of Corrections.

PREA runs a hotline that inmates can call when they’ve experienced sexual harassment or assault.. 

10 On Your Side wanted to find out how often incidents like this happen to inmates.

Officials with the agency say they answer about 85 calls a month, which is a steady increase from last year.

Officials say a lot of times inmates don’t report these types of crimes because they’re worried about retaliation. 

Todd was sentenced to three months behind bars.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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