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Packed House At Prison Board Meeting Amid Sexual Abuse Allegations

SCRANTON -- Allegations of sexual abuse at the Lackawanna County Prison brought a crowd to Wednesday's meeting of the prison board. They came to demand an independent investigation, instead of the one being overseen by the prison board.

Earlier this month, the prison board announced its own investigation after allegations of sexual abuse and a cover up. Six corrections officers are already being investigated by the District Attorney's office. They're accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate.

Right now, only the current warden is being investigated by the prison board.

"I was robbed last year and the guy who robbed me may very well end up in here someday and I would expect him to be punished, not abused, not tortured and not taken advantage of in any way," said Joan Hodowanitz of Scranton.

Many of the questions and concerns from residents inside the meeting were about whether or not a special investigator from outside Lackawanna County should be brought in.  The prison board previously appointed Amil Minora, a Scranton-based civil attorney, to investigate.

"I  want you to tell me how you can represent my child and charge the perpetrator," asked one woman named Cheryl at the meeting. Cheryl was the only member of the public at the previous prison board meeting. Her son is an inmate.

Corrections officer Scott Blume was charged with assault earlier this month for allegedly spraying the genitals of Cheryl's son with pepper spray. Alone no more, Cheryl says she won't stop speaking out until justice is served.

"I'm thrilled," she said. "It was just me. And I was embarrassed and shy and now I'm here and everyone is coming out slowly but surely."

Toward the end of the meeting, Lackawanna County Commissioner Laureen Cummings did address one person's concerns about the amount of time it takes to investigate, pointing out that the investigation into the warden needs to be completed first.  That way, county leaders can decide if the warden is able to cooperate with any further investigations into certain officers.

6 comments

  • tomtom

    hey tomtom impersonator…we posters have come to the conclusion that you seem to lower your rants to one common denominator…HOMOSEXUALITY…you seem to know a little bit TOOOOOOOO much on the subject than just being an innocent bystander…that’s okay…you have very descriptive and what we feel are too personal recollections of acts that can only derive from these acts…again, that’s okay…we welcome and respect all posters…don’t you agree with knowing a little bit too much???little bit???little bit??? little bit…

  • Tom-Tom-Dumb-Dumb

    I remember years ago when TomTom said he was abused by numerous male guards at this facility.
    Nobody believed him, then Trump became president and TomTom blamed Trump. Still nobody believes him. Personally I think it really happened and he enjoyed it.
    Watch out for that night stick DumbDumb, I mean TomTom.

    • tomtom

      The injuries from the sexual abuse that I endured wasn’t so much caused by the nightstick. It was by the full length of the guard’s arm that was attached to that nightstick!

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