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Rape Victim Settles Lawsuit with the Indiana Department of Correction

In July of 2014, T.K. filed a lawsuit against her former parole officer Michael Sproessig and the Indiana Department of Correction. The lawsuit concerned what occurred while T.K. was on parole and assigned to Officer Sproessig. The lawsuit alleged that Sproessig used his position and authority as a parole officer to rape T.K. while he was in possession of his state-issued firearm and badge. The suit alleged in part that IDOC failed to properly train and supervise Officer Sproessig as a state employee. Sproessig was sentenced in Dearborn County in August of 2014 for C felony intimidation with a deadly weapon and official misconduct.

“This case is a demonstration that parole officers wield significant power and can easily abuse that power for their own selfish gratification,” said Scott Barnhart of Keffer Barnhart LLP, T.K.’s attorney in the civil lawsuit. He continued, “offenders, particularly women, coming out of prison can be particularly vulnerable and reliant on their parole officer who serve as the gatekeeper for their physical freedom.” The lawsuit alleged that Officer Sproessig had threatened to send T.K. back to prison if she did not comply with his sexual advances. Mr. Barnhart continued, “It is our sincere hope that the State and IDOC reevaluate their screening process and change the rules and policies governing parole officers to prevent this from happening to other women.” The State and T.K. have reached a financial settlement.

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