Woman says jail guard touched her inappropriately while she visited inmate

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A woman says surveillance video backs up her claim that she was touched inappropriately by a Cook County jail guard during a visit to the facility. (WLS)

A woman says surveillance video backs up her claim that she was touched inappropriately by a Cook County jail guard during a visit to the facility.

A woman says surveillance video backs up her claim that she was touched inappropriately by a Cook County jail guard during a visit to the facility.

Officials are investigating the allegation.

No one wants to visit a jail. Some at the Cook County Jail have not been convicted of anything but are waiting for trial, including one inmate whose fiancee visited to offer support and stay connected during this challenging time.

The fiancee, "Alicia," says the situation was made worse by the action of one deputy.

She said she had been coming each week since her fiance was brought to Cook County Jail in December, and one deputy was chatty.

"He was just telling me, like, okay, 'Hello, you're beautiful,' and I'd say thank you and then I'm going about my day," Alicia said.

On one visit on a January morning, she says the deputy went too far.

"When I proceeded to walk through the area where the metal detector was, where he was seated at, he said, if I touched you on my behind would you slap me?" she said.

She said in front of her daughter, the deputy put his card in her pants packet and his hand lingered.
"I felt like I was violated, and then not just that, in front of my child," she said.

"This officer is taking advantage of someone who is already in a vulnerable position. I mean, she is there visiting someone, does not want to be there and she's easily intimidated," said Richard Dvorak, Alicia's attorney.

"We were exceptionally concerned about it when it was brought to our attention and immediately opened up an investigation to get to the bottom of what occurred and to take appropriate action," said Cara Smith, Chief Policy Officer for the Cook County Sheriff's Department.

We are told the internal investigation is taking into account the deputy's past.

A Freedom of Information Act request of the deputy's disciplinary history reveals a series of actions from written reprimands to suspensions resulting from failure to perform tasks, disrespecting a superior, twice -- sleeping on the job and a DUI arrest while off duty.

"I've personally spoke with her and met with her and assured her that we would do all we could to make sure any time she wants to visit it's uneventful, and certainly apologized for the experience she had to have," Smith said.

"I hope deep down inside he knows what he did was very wrong and that whatever consequences come behind the situation, he should know that he deserved it," Alicia said.

We have reached out to the deputy and his union and no one has responded.

As the investigation continues, we are told by the sheriff's office that the deputy has been reassigned to an area where he does not interact with the public.

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