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Monday, March 31, 2008

New Hampshire Agreed to Pay 1.85 Million to 30 Female Inmates

From concordmonitor.com: The state has agreed to pay $1.85 million to 30 female inmates and a corrections employee who accused former prison sergeant Douglas Tower of raping, assaulting or sexually harassing them.

The women will receive checks ranging from $6,000 to $228,000, said Assistant Attorney General Michael Brown yesterday. The payments settle the women's lawsuits against the state. They do not settle any claims brought against Tower personally.

Nor do they affect the 11 criminal trials Tower, 63, still faces over the sexual and physical assault of female inmates. Tower has already been convicted of six counts of rape and sexual assault against one female inmate and of physically assaulting another inmate.

Those assaults happened at Shea Farm halfway house in Concord. Tower is serving 20 to 40 years for the rape conviction alone.

The prison did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement reached yesterday. But Jeff Lyons, prison spokesman, said the prison has made several changes in light of the Tower investigation.

All office doors now have windows, so staff and inmates cannot be out of view. There are more cameras at Shea Farm, which has winding halls and remote living spaces. The department doubled security staff at Shea Farm and now has at least one female officer assigned to every shift, Lyons said.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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