5 women testify in TCI prison sex-assault case;
BY AMIE JO SCHAENZER
All five inmates alleging sexual assault by a correctional officer at
Taycheedah Correctional Institution � including one who says she was
raped in a prison storage closet � took the stand Friday to testify
against the 36-year-old Oshkosh man.
Jimmie Brown, who is on unpaid administrative leave from TCI, was
bound over for further proceedings in Fond du Lac County Circuit
Court after Judge Peter Grimm heard testimony and ruled that there
was probable cause that Brown committed a crime.
Brown denies that sexual contact with inmates took place.
During the hearing, inmates became emotional as they recounted
details of the numerous sexual encounters that occurred during the 11
months Brown was a correctional officer at TCI.
A 37-year-old woman who said Brown raped her in a prison storage
closet while she was attempting to retrieve materials would not make
eye contact with Brown while describing the alleged assault. She kept
her head down and her body turned away from the defense table while
testifying about the incident that occurred in April when she was on
duty at her job at the prison and Brown was working second shift.
“I was working and I needed to go to the storage room,” she said. “He
unlocked the door for me � when I went into the storage closet, into
the back, he came into the closet and he grabbed hold of my hair.”
She testified that he ripped her pants, forced her to the back of the
closet and had sex with her against her will before stopping abruptly.
“Why did he stop?” Fond du Lac County District Attorney Michael
O’Rourke asked the woman.
“Because his radio went off and there was someone coming to our
unit,” she said.
The woman said Brown forced her to stay with him in the closet until
she “calmed down.”
The inmate testified that she said nothing to Brown, but told him
before she left the closet that she “would report him if he touched
“How did he respond to that?” O’Rourke asked.
“That no one would believe me,” she said.
In cross-examination, Brown’s attorney, William Mayer, asked the
woman if she did anything to stop the rape from happening.
“Did you yell, scream or say anything to Mr. Brown?” Mayer asked.
“No,” she replied.
Fear of retaliation
Most of the women who testified Friday touched on the fear they had
of retaliation if they did not fulfill Brown’s wishes or if they
reported him to staff. They also spoke about the manipulative
behaviors he used to get them to adhere to his sexual whims.
A 29-year-old inmate said that it was “made clear” to the inmates at
TCI that Brown would find a way to have them punished after another
prisoner�not a victim in the case�reported some of the alleged
activity to staff in December and was placed in segregation.
“It was clear that she went to segregation because she told on him,”
the woman said.
The woman who was punished, Tunda Boyd, now lives in Beloit. She told
The Reporter last month that she was held in segregation past her
release date for “lying to staff.”
Some of the information Boyd provided to staff in December is now
included in the criminal complaint against Brown.
The Fond du Lac Police Department began an investigation of Brown in
April when TCI staff first made authorities aware of the allegations
against Brown by several inmates.
According to a police report into that investigation, the 29-year-old
inmate said she had sex with Brown in January but then became
uncomfortable when he asked her to do other sexual activities,
according to the complaint. She said he moved on to two other women
at the prison. He still did things to intimidate her, though, by
staring her down, tapping his pen and invading her space, she said.
Other inmates testified to similar intimidating practices, such as
Brown watching them as they changed clothes or telling them no one
would believe them if they ever reported the sexual contact.
A 36-year-old inmate became agitated while describing “sexual
assignments” Brown would pass through the tray of her cell door. She
performed the assignments to “keep him happy,” she said.
“You make me sick,” the woman said to Brown after her testimony
concluded and right before she left the courtroom.
Brown has maintained his innocence, denying any sexual contact with
inmates while working at TCI.
He faces what could amount to life in prison if convicted on all 13
counts of second-degree sexual assault.
During the hearing Friday, Judge Grimm ordered that Brown � who
remains in custody on a $50,000 cash bond � not have any contact with
any current or former TCI inmates.
“Through our investigation, we have learned that Brown has been
contacting inmates and ex-inmates by mail,” O’Rourke said.
At least two more inmates have alleged contact with Brown, but are
not listed as victims in the criminal complaint, according to a
police report released to The Reporter last week following a Freedom
of Information request.
One of the police interviews had to be discontinued because a 22-year-
old woman kept getting sick while recounting how Brown would have her
expose her breasts when he was making rounds, according to the
report. Due to her vomiting, TCI staff conducted a pregnancy test,
but those results were not mentioned in the report.
Another inmate reported that Brown had raped her. That report was
discredited and the inmate was placed in segregation for lying to
staff, according to the report.