(STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP via Getty Images)
OAN’s Noah Herring
10:57 AM – Wednesday, July 26, 2023
On Tuesday, a federal jury found Tony Daniel Klein, a former Oregon Department of Corrections nurse, guilty of sexually assaulting at least nine female inmates.
Klein, 38, has been convicted of 17 counts of depriving inmates of their constitutional right to not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment via sexual assault as well as four counts of perjury.
Klein had worked at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, which is south of Portland, from 2010 until he resigned in 2018 amid the sexual abuse allegations and a deeper criminal investigation.
The U.S. Department of Justice indicted him last year following the investigation.
Seventeen women who had testified during the two-week trial claimed that Klein touched them inappropriately during medical visits or as they cleaned the prison infirmary. A few of the women said that they were forced to have sex with Klein, while others claimed they believed that they could face punishment if they had refused his sexual advances.
“Tony Klein used his position of authority to prey on women in custody who were in a uniquely vulnerable position,” said Natalie Wight, U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon. “He further led his victims to believe they had no power to resist or report his abuse.”
Klein adamantly denied any form of sexual assault, but did not testify during the trial. He is facing the possibility of life in prison when his sentencing comes in October.
Klein’s attorneys, Amanda Alvarez Thibeault and Matthew McHenry, claimed that he was the victim of a scheme planned by women in custody who had plotted to find ways to receive financial settlements from the state. After the verdict, Klein’s attorneys reiterated that they still believed he was innocent.
Kieran Ramsey, a special agent in charge of the FBI Portland Field Office, applauded the victims for their bravery in coming forward.
“His heinous actions were only brought to light by a small group of courageous women who came forward, even despite their precarious circumstances of being incarcerated,” Ramsey said. “Their willingness to report their victimization undoubtedly saved others from Mr. Klein’s predatory actions.”
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division bashed Klein for abusing his power and authority as a medical professional.
“The Civil Rights Division will continue to vigorously hold accountable those who abuse their authority by committing sexual assault,” Clarke said.
Following the jury’s decision, Klein will reportedly remain in custody until his sentencing on October 17th.
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