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Imprisoned on Drug Charges, Michigan Man Claims He Was Forced Into Sex by Prison Counselor Who Wanted to Get Pregnant

Thursday, November 3, 2016 11:33
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(Before It's News)

title="||| Michigan Department of Corrections" width="350" style=
"float: right;" />Just to be feminist or something about "nofollow" href=
target="_blank">my recent
round ""
target="_blank">of posts on predatory authorities,
let’s look
at ""
target="_blank">this story out of Michigan
, where a man who
served time at the state’s Parnall Correctional Facility claims
that a baby-mad female prison counselor with whom he fathered a
child used him as “a virtual sex slave, demanding sexual
gratification at her whim.”

The 44-year-old man, Steven Moerman, was imprisoned "nofollow" href=
target="_blank">on drug charges
and receiving counseling for
undisclosed mental-health issues. Now out on parole, he’s suing the
Michigan Department of Corrections, prison officials, and Gov. Rick
Snyder over what he claims was repeated rape by prison counselor
Susan Lee Clingerman, also 44, whom he says was undergoing
fertility treatments in order to conceive a child with him.
“Defendants failed to provide Mr. Moerman humane conditions of
confinement by knowingly, voluntarily, recklessly, and with willful
disregard to Mr. Moerman’s personal safety, allowing him to be
sexually assaulted and raped,” the lawsuit, filed in Jackson County
Circuit Court, asserts.

Moerman claims prison officials knew what was happening or
should have known because another prison counselor acted as a
lookout for Clingerman—who was banned from prison property in
September 2014 and fired the following January—while she had sex
with Moerman in her office. Corrections Department Spokesman Chris
Gautz claimed an investigation turned up no such lookout. But a
Parnall corrections officer did catch Clingerman and Moerman having
sex in her office once, according to prison records filed with
Moerman’s lawsuit.

Clingerman claims she was having a consensual sexual
relationship with Moerman, who fathered the child she gave birth to
in April 2015. In a statement, Clingerman said she knew she “could
get into trouble—including firing” for the relationship but did not
know she “could be prosecuted for this.”

Under the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act, however,
prisoners cannot legally consent to sex with prison employees
because of the inherent power imbalance. Thus, any prison guard,
counselor, or other employee who has sex with a prisoner, no matter
how theoretically willing that prisoner is, opens themselves up to
liability for sexual assault.

Clingerman has already gone through the criminal process,
pleading guilty to a felony charge of misconduct in office as part
of a deal that allowed her to stay off the sex-offender registry.
Initially, she was charged by Michigan state police with
second-degree sexual assault. Clingerman was target="_blank" href="/r2/?url="
target="_blank">sentenced on the official misconduct charge to 27
days in jail
and 18 months probation, according to court

In the past two days, I’ve blogged about criminal-justice
authorities accused of breaking prostitution laws their colleagues
rigorously enforce, abusing their power to coerce sex from
citizens, and even forcibly sexually assaulting people. If there’s
a point other than informing people about arguably newsworthy
stories, it’s not to cast aspersion on all cops, nor to shock—in
fact, I want just the opposite of the latter. I want people to
realize—as I have in covering sex and criminal justice stories
intensely for a few years now—how truly common sexual abuses of
power by police are, especially against certain classes of
vulnerable people (like sex workers and prison inmates). It’s yet
another reason we need criminal-justice reforms that increase
police accountability and take away authorities’ power to
threaten people with or send them to jail/prison over things like
prostitution and drug possession.


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