Central Oregon DailyEx-Oregon women’s prison nurse gets 30 years for sexually assaulting inmates

Ex-Oregon women’s prison nurse gets 30 years for sexually assaulting inmates

Ex-Oregon women’s prison nurse gets 30 years for sexually assaulting inmates

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A former Oregon Department of Corrections employee was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison Tuesday for sexually assaulting nine female inmates, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. 

Tony Daniel Klein, 39, was also sentenced to five years’ supervised release.

Prosecutors say Klein served as a nurse at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Oregon’s only women’s prison.

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Here is more from the DOJ announcement: 

“Today’s sentence sends a clear message that using a position of authority to prey on individuals in custody will never be tolerated by the Department of Justice. Holding Tony Klein accountable for his crimes would not have been possible without the courage and resolve of the women he abused and the dedication of our partners at the FBI and Civil Rights Division,” said Natalie Wight, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“The sentence in this case should send a significant message to any official working inside jails and prisons across our country, including those who provide medical care, that they will be held accountable when they sexually assault women inmates in their custody,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Women detained inside jails and prisons should be able to turn to medical providers for care and not subjected to exploitation by those bent on abusing their power and position. We will listen to and investigate credible allegations put forward by people who are sexually assaulted and, where appropriate, bring federal prosecutions. The Justice Department stands ready to hold accountable those who abuse their authority by sexual assaulting people in their custody and under their care.”

“We know this prison sentence cannot undo the trauma Tony Klein inflicted on numerous victims, but we hope this brings them one step closer to healing,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “As a state prison nurse, Klein abused his position and abused multiple women, violating the public’s trust, while doing everything he could to avoid being caught. The investigators and prosecutors should be applauded for their efforts to hold Klein accountable, but we recognize this lengthy sentence is also because of a group of brave women who came forward and helped ensure that Klein was held accountable for being a sexual predator within Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.”

According to court documents, from 2010 until January 2018, Klein served as a nurse at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon. In his position, Klein interacted with female inmates who either sought medical treatment or worked as orderlies in the prison’s medical unit. Aided by his access to the women and his position of power as a corrections employee, Klein sexually assaulted and engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct with many female inmates entrusted to his care.

By virtue of his position as a medical provider, Klein was often alone with his victims and assaulted many before, during, or after medical treatment. For women who worked in the medical unit, Klein manufactured reasons to get them alone in secluded areas such as medical rooms, janitor’s closets, or behind privacy curtains. Klein made it clear to his victims that he was in a position of power over them, and they would not be believed if they tried reporting his abuse. Fearing punishment if they fought back against or reported his conduct, most of Klein’s victims submitted to his unwanted advances or endured his assaults.

On March 8, 2022, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment charging Klein with multiple civil rights crimes. On July 25, 2023, a federal jury in Portland found Klein guilty of 17 counts of depriving his victims of their constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by sexual assault and four counts of perjury.

This case was investigated by the FBI Portland Field Office. It was prosecuted by Gavin W. Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, and Cameron A. Bell, Trial Attorney for the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah Horsley assisted the trial team.

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