Aug. 22 – CLARK COUNTY – A federal judge has given Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel until September 16 to provide factual evidence to support part of his defense claim in one of two lawsuits filed for alleged sexual assault of inmates.

Noel denied wrongdoing and also cited the Prison Litigation Reform Act as a defense last week against claims made by 20 women in the lawsuit. They allege they were the victims of sex crimes on October 24, 2021 in the Clark County Jail after male inmates gained access to their capsules via a key purchased from a former corrections officer.

Part of the Prison Litigation Reform Act prohibits prosecution based on prison conditions unless the exhaustive requirement has been met. The requirement prevents an inmate from bringing a civil action until administrative remedies have been exhausted.

U.S. District Judge Debra McVicker Lynch released a response to Noel’s defense request on Friday in which she warned that the court may remove “insufficient defense” from the closing arguments.

Noel’s response “does not plead an adequate factual basis for his defense of exhaustion, as is required,” she states in the show cause order. The Prison Litigation Reform Act is one of eight defenses raised by Noel in his response to the lawsuit.

Through his attorney, Noel said in his filing last week that the plaintiffs did not meet the exhaustion requirement and that some of the women “remain incarcerated at the Clark County Jail, making exhaustion of administrative remedies a requirement before initiating legal action”.

Hitting the defense would not end the trial, but would nullify Noel’s use of the act. The sheriff can provide evidence or withdraw the defense by September 16.

Eight other women filed a second lawsuit in the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana/USA, also claiming to have been victims of sex crimes following the incident on October 24, 2021. Last week, a Noel’s attorney filed a motion asking that the plaintiffs not be allowed to use pseudonyms in court filings. The eight women are listed as Jane Doe 1-8. No decision had been rendered on the defense request by Monday afternoon.

The women in the original trial are named in court documents. The News and Tribune does not identify the names of alleged sex crime victims.

The case led to court filings and also fueled political differences.

Monday, Christmas updated ClarkFacts.comthe website he said he used to “debunk” the case.

In Monday’s post, Noel filed a legal complaint that the plaintiffs lost their “obscure privileges” for 72 hours after the alleged incident.

He said the lights were kept on at the prison for the inmates’ safety, not because it was a punishment.

Noel’s post said the lights came on at 5:30 a.m. on October 25, “as they do every day.”

The lights remained on as deputies searched for the passkey that prison officer David Lowe allegedly sold to two inmates, Noel said. Deputies questioned the inmates about the incident and searched for the key. They found items like prison-made tattoo equipment, liquor, and “altered or destroyed” county property, but the key was still missing.

“Over the next two days, the deputies conducted dozens of interviews and conducted a great deal of additional research,” Noel said. “Because the missing key had still not been found, the lights were left on at night on October 26 and 27 so that prison officers could monitor the modules and ensure the safety of inmates. As of October 28, 2021, information obtained during interviews and research revealed that the missing key had probably been flushed down the toilet and was not in anyone’s possession.The lights went out on October 28 at their usual time.

The Clark County Police FOP, Lodge 181, on Friday sent a letter to Clark County Democratic Party Chairman Chris Coyle asking for an apology for a Facebook post he posted about the case. .

The post follows a press conference local Democrats held about the lawsuit where they called for the resignation of Noel and high-ranking members of the sheriff’s office, including Scottie Maples, who is the Republican nominee for the job. sheriff this year.

The letter, written by FOP President Mark Grube, said part of a Facebook post alleging Noel and other members of the Sheriff’s Department had been “cute and partying” over the past 10 months, was “hateful and irresponsible”.

In the letter, the FOP asks Coyle, who is the Democratic nominee for Clark County Clerk, to apologize and threaten to take action if he refuses to do so. The letter says Coyle has until Tuesday to respond.

The News and Tribune spoke to Grube about the letter on Friday.

“The FOP will always stand up for law enforcement,” he said. “It’s especially true when reckless politicians say MPs have been partying for the past 10 months when we’ve had two deaths in the line of duty in 10 months. That kind of reckless and irresponsible statement is disgraceful of anyone, let alone someone running for office.”

Coyle told the News and Tribune that he made the comment about a specific post on Noel’s personal social media and was not directed at all Clark County Sheriff’s Department officers.

“(The letter) tries to turn our criticisms of Jamey Noel into criticisms (of law enforcement), in general,” Coyle said.

Regarding the ongoing litigation, Coyle said he has not personally spoken to any of the plaintiffs in the case.

“We’re talking to their lawyers, we think that’s the most appropriate,” he said. “I try to respect privacy. We’ve heard from families of victims who support (the press conference) and they appreciate that we’re speaking up and trying to deal with it.”

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