By YAWANA WOLFE
ELKINS, W. Va. (CN) – A West Virginia sheriff raped a teenager and sodomized her with a cucumber, threatened to kill her if she told, and subjected at least five other women to forced sex, at least once in a courthouse, a woman claims in Federal Court.
Brittany Mae Keene sued Barbour County Sheriff John Wesley Hawkins and the Barbour County Commission.
She claims the county essentially let Hawkins conduct a reign of sexual terror against women in his custody.
The lurid, 17-page complaint states: “The County Defendant had both actual and constructive notice of Hawkins’ individual tendencies toward the use of excessive force and violence including prior occasions, to-wit:
Triggering descriptions of activities by the sheriff and 5 other victims have been removed.
Keene seeks exemplary damages on 15 counts: unlawful arrest, excessive force, conspiracy, the tort of outrage/intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, two counts of negligence, false imprisonment, assault, deliberate indifference, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, sexual assault, providing alcohol to a minor, and dissemination of a nude photo of a minor.
She is represented by Paul Harris and Shawn Fluharty, of Wheeling.
Hawkins was elected in May to his second term as sheriff.
Despite his holding that office, The Charleston Gazette reported on its website today that “a working number for Hawkins could not be found Monday night.”
The Gazette reported that Hawkins responded to the lawsuit by posting this message on his Facebook profile Monday night:
“‘Round #2. Thought all this was over with the election, but today I was sued in Federal Court. …,’ Hawkins said in the post. “I don’t mind being tried in court, as I will deny all the allegations. It’s a civil suit for money. I just hate my family having to go through all the mudslinging in the media again. To my friends, sorry. I’d ask for prayers for my family but was bashed the last time for asking for prayers for them. So, true friends know where we live and how to get in touch [with] us.'”