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Kentucky probes sex-abuse claims


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POSTED: Saturday, July 18, 2009

Kentucky officials are investigating allegations of sexual abuse at a private prison for women that houses 169 women from Hawaii.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that the Department of Corrections says as many as 16 Kentucky women may have been abused at the Otter Creek Correctional Center in Floyd County.

The Community Alliance on Prisons held a protest in Honolulu July 10 demanding the state bring Hawaii inmates back because of allegations of sexual abuse against five Hawaii women and 16 Kentucky women.

A Hawaii inmate reported on June 23 that she was sexually assaulted by a corrections officer. Kentucky police say they expect to present evidence to a grand jury in the coming weeks.

The facility is run by Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corp. of America. Company spokesman Steven Owen says CCA is cooperating with Kentucky and Hawaii officials and also conducting its own investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.