A former Oregon Department of Corrections nurse has been charged with sexually assaulting 12 inmates at the state’s women’s prison, federal prosecutors said Monday.
Tony Daniel Klein, 37, allegedly assaulted the inmates at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility from 2016 to 2017.
He was indicted on 21 counts of depriving the victims of their constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, and he could face up to life in prison if convicted, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Klein pleaded not guilty in a video arraignment Monday, federal court records show. The indictment was filed last week but was unsealed Monday.
Klein’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Monday afternoon.
The sexual assaults allegedly took place in 2016 and 2017.
He is charged with 21 counts of deprivation of rights, as well as four counts of perjury stemming from allegedly false answers that he gave in a deposition in a civil case that alleged misconduct, prosecutors said.
Corrections Department Director Colette S. Peters said that the agency worked with state police and the FBI, and that “today’s indictment shows that the voices of women in custody are heard and taken seriously.”
“DOC has zero tolerance for sexual violence against the people in our care and allegations will not be swept under the rug or ignored regardless of whether the person accused is no longer employed by our Department,” Peters said. in a statement. “Now the federal criminal justice system can rightly deal with these serious allegations.”