JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Clark County Democrats and supporters of the 28 women who claim they were sexually assaulted inside the Clark County Jail are demanding an independent investigation of the jail and the resignation of its’ leaders, including the sheriff. 

“We want people to see just how many victims this is. This is two military squads. This is larger than an NBA franchise,” Chris Coyle, Clark County Democratic Party Chair, said. “The sheer number of victims in this case in a single incident is extraordinary.” 

Around 20 supporters stood on the steps of the Clark County Courthouse holding signs with one number on it. Each represented one of the alleged sexual assault victims. 

According to a federal lawsuit, David Lowe was a jail officer in 2021. Documents show Lowe was given $1,000 by two male inmates in exchange for a key that opened the cells of various women. 

“[On October 24, 2021] numerous male detainees with face coverings used a key, keys of the jail officer, [and then] raped, assaulted, harrassed, and intimitated these 28 women,” Linda Lawson, Ninth District Vice Chair and a 24-year law enforcement veteran who was a member of the sex crimes and domestic violence division said. 

The lawsuit says the victims in the case were not given rape kits, medical attention, or counseling. Instead, their personal belongings were taken and they lost their “dark privileges,” which means the lights in their cells were kept on for 72 hours. 

“What I’m going to tell you, what I’ve watched on here does not indicate to me that there was sexual assault,” Larry Wilder, the attorney representing Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel, said. 

While supporters of the victims held up signs with numbers, Wilder across the street held up a computer hard drive with jail video on it along with witness and victim statements. 

“You can’t control a criminal inside your organization as the sheriff’s department because you don’t know you’ve had someone who is a criminal,” Wilder said in regards to Lowe. 

Widler says there were no indications Lowe would commit a crime, but was clear that he did give keys to the two male inmates. 

Coyle and Lawson are calling for the resignation of Sheriff Jamey Noel, Chief Deputy Scott Maples, and the Clark County Jail Commander in addition to an independent investigation. 

Wilder says there is no reason for anyone to resign. 

I-Team 8’s Jasmine Minor asked Wilder what was the reason the male inmates went into the women’s cells. Wilder said, “nothing happened,” and that what was on the hard drive would be released to the public after, “it’s disclosed in the federal case.” 

When asked again off camera, Wilder called what happened a “panty raid.” 

Wilder emphasized to I-Team 8, the hard drive has been handed over to the FBI and the U.S. Marshall. 

“There are 44 statements from the mouths of individuals that you will hear when this information is available. You decide,” Wilder said. 

Wilder says Lowe committed the crime on his last day at work after he had handed in his resignation. 

Lowe was charged with aiding, inducing or causing escape, and official misconduct for both felonies, according to court documents. He was also charged with trafficking with an inmate, a misdemeanor, documents say. 

Lowe’s trial is scheduled for November. 

Sheriff Jamey Noel’s Office sent I-Team 8 this statement: 

“The lawsuit filed and recent comments from my political opponents contains more false statements and incorrect information than I can count. Despite the ongoing lawsuit, I’ve told my staff that we’re going to bring transparency to this incident and show the community precisely what happened and what we learned from our joint investigation with the FBI and US Marshalls. In the coming days, we’ll bust those myths and show the community the truth and the evidence showing what happened during the 50-minute incident on October 24, 2021.”

Sexual assault is evil and my office will always do everything we can to prosecute those who prey on women. But right now, there’s not a single woman who maintains to  investigators that she was sexually assaulted by male inmates on 10/24/22. Audio and video evidence that will come to light soon also doesn’t show any kind of assault. 

If any woman was assaulted, we beg them to cooperate with us and actually talk to investigators so we investigate any wrongdoing.” 

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By Richard

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