A 21-year-old inmate said he was sexually assaulted in at least two separate occasions by four different perpetrators while in a South Carolina jail, according to his attorneys.
Attorneys for the man, who is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center awaiting trial for a drug charge, said he was raped repeatedly by multiple inmates and a detention center guard, the Messenger and WHNS reported.
Attorney Bakari Sellers from Strom Law Firm, which is representing the man, said jail staff returned him to the same dorm where the first assault occurred after it happened, the Messenger and WHNS reported.
"One sexual assault is too many. One time is unacceptable. This young man was subjected to multiple assaults by multiple perpetrators, including an Alvin S. Glenn detention officer," Sellers said, according to the outlets.
"They literally sent the victim back to the scene of the crime so he could be sexually assaulted again."
USA TODAY has reached out to Strom Law Firm and Richland County Government, which oversees the detention center for comment.
The firm is also representing other clients who have "suffered inhuman unsanitary conditions, violent attacks and medical neglect" at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
In February, Sellers and attorney Alexandra Benevento wrote a letter requesting the U.S. Department of Justice open a federal investigation into issues at the jail. According to reports in the letter, Benevento compared the conditions to a “war zone” and “hell on earth.”
Sexual victimization of adult inmates continues to be an ongoing problem in jails and prisons around the country. A special report by the U.S. Department of Justice released early this year found thousands of victims of inmate-on-inmate abuse and staff-on-inmate abuse that took place from 2016 through 2018.
The report found staff sexual misconduct was underreported by inmates with only about a quarter of incidents reported by the victim while nearly 20% of the substantiated incidents were discovered through investigation or monitoring.
From 2015 to 2018, allegations of sexual abuse by adult correctional authorities rose 14%, according to a 2021 Department of Justice report using data from the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics. However, the report, only referenced "substantiated" incidents that were investigated and found to be likely based on a preponderance of evidence, which means they were proved to have occurred more likely than not.
Only about 38% of staffers faced any legal action for substantiated and reported incidents, the report found. Only 20% of staff perpetrators of sexual misconduct in jails and 6% in prisons were convicted, pled guilty, were sentenced or fined.
The report also found that half of inmate-on-inmate and staff-on-inmate sexual abuse occurred in jails and prisons that weren't under video surveillance.