SCRANTON — A former inmate is suing a jail and its employees, alleging that he was sexually harassed and sexually abused by a counselor while he was incarcerated.
Wayne Lovett filed a complaint on July 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Samantha Heinrich, Lackawanna County and other prison staff.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff is seeking damages for incidents that took place while he was an inmate from 2015 to 2017. The plaintiff was entrusted with being a kitchen worker and had a good deal of freedom to move around the prison.
The defendant, prison counselor Heinrich, allegedly began to exploit that freedom and made advances towards Lovett, which allegedly escalated to unwanted groping of the plaintiff's genitals. Heinrich is accused of making threats against the plaintiff and of engaging in behavior that became more inappropriate.
Heinrich is accused of taking off her blouse in front of the plaintiff, showing nude photos of herself, and performing oral sex on the plaintiff, ending with sexual intercourse. The plaintiff claims he continued to be approached by Heinrich and eventually lost his position as kitchen worker despite doing nothing wrong.
Heinrich is facing criminal sexual assault charges, as reported by WNEP.
The plaintiff is seeking all reasonable sums due, attorney fees and court costs. The plaintiff is represented by Curt M. Parkins of Comerford Law in Scranton.
Middle District of Pennsylvania Court case number 3:19-CV-01125