On Wednesday, a jury awarded $6.7 million dollars to a Jane Doe who testified that she was repeatedly raped by a guard in the Milwaukee County jail while she was pregnant, and later forced to give birth to her daughter in shackles.
The incidents took place four years ago, when the woman was 20 years old and in the early stages of pregnancy. According to the civil complaint, the victim was first sexually assaulted soon after she was held in pre-trial detention.
While she was waiting for a medical examination, a corrections officer named Xavier Thicklen, who was responsible for transporting inmates to the clinic, approached her in her cell and touched her genitals. Thicklen then refused to take her to her doctor’s appointment.
In another instance, Thicklen falsely told the woman that she had an an attorney visit to isolate and rape her. According to court documents, he threatened to send her to the maximum security area of the jail if she reported his actions to anyone.
Thicklen sexually assaulted the woman five times. (He committed one of these assaults right before she went into labor, and another while she was recovering in the hospital a few days after giving birth.)