A federal jury in Portland found a former Oregon Department of Corrections employee guilty this week of sexually assaulting nine female inmates while serving as a nurse at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon’s only women’s prison.
Tony Daniel Klein, 38, of Clackamas County, was convicted 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.
From 2010 until January 2018, Klein served as a nurse at Coffee Creek, interacting with female inmates who either sought medical treatment or worked as orderlies in the prison’s medical unit, officials said.
Aided by his access to the women and his position of power as a corrections employee, Klein sexually assaulted or engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct with many female inmates entrusted to his care, according to court documents.
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.
Officials said 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 his victims submitted to his unwanted advances or endured his assaults.
“Tony Klein used his position of authority to prey on women in custody who were in a uniquely vulnerable position,” said Natalie Wight, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “He further led his victims to believe they had no power to resist or report his abuse.”
The verdict would not have been possible without the “courage and resolve” of the victims, Wright continued, and the dedication of our partners at the FBI and Civil Rights Division.
“This defendant is being held accountable for sexually assaulting female inmates under his care, custody and control,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
“Abuses of power and authority, like this, where the defendant took advantage of his position as a medical professional to satisfy his own sexual desires, will not be tolerated, and justice will be pursued.”
Clarke also thanked the survivors of these sexual assaults for having the courage to come forward and tell their story.
“[Klein’s] heinous actions were only brought to light by a small group of courageous women who came forward, even despite their precarious circumstances of being incarcerated,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, special agent in charge of the FBI Portland Field Office.
“Their willingness to report their victimization undoubtedly saved others from Mr. Klein’s predatory actions.”
Following announcement of the jury’s verdict on Tuesday, July 24, Klein was remanded into the custody of U.S. Marshals Service pending his sentencing on October 17 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon. Klein faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
This case was investigated by the FBI Portland Field Office. It was prosecuted by Cameron A. Bell, of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section, and Gavin W. Bruce, assistant U.S. sttorney for the District of Oregon. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah Horsley assisted the trial team.
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