KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Nearly two dozen female inmates have been removed from a Missouri jail after two women said they were sexually assaulted by male inmates who somehow got into their cells.
One of the victims told police that three men she initially thought were guards came into her cell at the Jackson County Regional Correctional Center and took turns raping her on Friday, Kansas City police said. The other victim said a man came into her cell and kissed and fondled her before fleeing when a door opened and someone whistled.
Former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves, who conducted an independent investigation in 2011 into how the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese handled sex-crime allegations, has been hired to investigate the jail attacks.
WDAF-TV reported the women told police the suspects used keys to get into their jail cells. The Kansas City television station also reported that police records indicated a master key went missing at the jail early Friday morning.
Kari Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Police Department, declined to comment on WDAF's report other than to say she didn't know where the station got its information. She said she could neither confirm nor deny its accuracy.
In a statement Monday, City Manager Troy Schulte said he ordered all female city inmates being housed in the jail to be removed immediately. He said none of them will return to the county jail unless the county addresses the issues that allowed the attacks to happen.
Twelve of the women have been moved to the Platte County jail, seven had signature bonds issued immediately so they could be released, two have been released early and the victims were being treated at a hospital.
"Those responsible will be held accountable, and all other necessary changes will be made swiftly," Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Jackson County Executive Frank White said in a joint statement Monday.
Jackson County runs the Regional Correctional Center, a jail that houses adults with Kansas City municipal violations. Its average daily population last year was 139 inmates. The center can hold 106 men and 48 women.