On Wednesday, a federal judge awarded 6.7 million dollars to a woman who was raped repeatedly by a guard while held in the Milwaukee County Jail in 2013.
In the trial, the woman testified that Xavier Thicklen assaulted her in multiple locations inside the jail when she was incarcerated. The jury in this case found that Thicklen sexually assaulted the victim five times -- three times while she was pregnant, and two times within days of her giving birth, according to Fox 6. She said she still suffers nightmares. Thicklen, 28, was charged with sexual assault and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. He has since been fired.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a jury found that there was "no legitimate government purpose" to shackle the woman during labor. The jury also determined that since the guard sexually assaulted the woman while employed, Milwaukee County is liable for the damages amount.
Theresa Kleinhaus, an attorney who litigated the case said, "She [the victim] was raped repeatedly at the age of 19. She sought justice and she is glad the system delivered that justice. She hopes to prevent other women from being sexually assaulted in the Milwaukee County Jail."
The victim, now 24, was already pregnant when she was booked into the jail. She was shackled as she went through labor later that year and later admitted to a hospital where she gave birth to a healthy baby, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The federal jury awarded the victim $1.7 million to "fairly and reasonably compensate" her for the harm she sustained in this incident and $5 million in punitive damages. She was awarded $1 million for each of the sexual assault incidents she endured.
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