Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess resigned Wednesday just as state prosecutors filed 35 felony charges against him, including 14 counts of second-degree rape, seven counts of forcible oral sodomy and five counts of bribery by a public official.
A federal lawsuit filed in October claims Burgess told one drug court participant he would have her sent to prison if she didn’t comply with his sexual demands.
The lawsuit, filed by 12 former inmates, alleges the sheriff’s employees had them engage in wet T-shirt contests and offered cigarettes to those who would flash their breasts.
One prisoner alleged she became a jail trusty with more freedom after agreeing to perform a sex act on Burgess, but lost that status when she later refused.
Mixing the dehumanization of prisoners with the patriarchy makes for some potent bullshit. It’s funny how they’re stunned when just a page back you see the same allegations coming from female inmates at juvenile detention facilities.
Maybe if they keep acting shocked, they’ll never have to acknowledge the problematic power differential of guards having both state granted power over prisoners and male guards maintaining their socially granted sexual power through the exploitation of powerless female inmates. Of course it’s totally okay so long as they say yes right? Because wanting additional power or freedom in a prison environment isn’t a source of coercion at all.
We are shocked.