York County has paid a woman who was sexually assaulted by a corrections officer at the county jail $30,000 to settle a lawsuit she filed against the county.

Former jail guard Jonathan Carpenter pleaded guilty to gross sexual assault and is in prison for a year.

The former corrections officer, Jonathan Carpenter, was convicted of felony sexual assault and remains incarcerated at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, according to the Department of Corrections.

The federal lawsuit, filed in October against York County, Sheriff William L. King Jr., jail administrator Michael Vitiello and Carpenter was dismissed in December following a filing that the parties had come to an agreement.

“The settlement was for $30,000,” county manager Gregory Zinser said in an email on Tuesday. The settlement was reached between the county’s insurer and the victim. No further information was available.

The Journal Tribune does not name victims of sexual assault without their consent.

Carpenter was a York County Jail corrections officer and was working his shift on Oct. 2, 2016, when the assault took place. He was indicted on a gross sexual assault charge in June 2017, and pleaded guilty to the Class B felony charge in April 2018. He was sentenced to five years in prison, with all but one year suspended, followed by three years probation. Upon his release from prison, he will be required to register as a sex offender.

The civil complaint, filed Oct. 1, 2018, at U.S. District Court in Portland, alleged that the defendants in the civil case had violated the plaintiff’s constitutional rights and that the county failed to adequately train corrections staff to prevent sexual assaults.

Carpenter was employed at York County Jail from Sept. 21, 2015, until he resigned on Jan. 13, 2017, according to county records.

The victim was serving a six-month sentence for violating the terms of her probation on another charge at the time of the assault.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was afraid Carpenter would retaliate and initially denied she was attacked when questioned by jail employees. It was only after she was transferred to Cumberland County Jail in Portland that she felt safe enough to report the assault, the suit claimed.

The victim’s attorney, Heather Gonzales, declined to comment on the settlement when reached by telephone on Tuesday, citing confidentiality.

Sheriff King declined to comment on the lawsuit last fall, but spoke about the conviction of the former corrections officer.

“(The incident is) certainly not reflective of the fine men and women that work for the York County Jail,” King said at the time.

The jail has stringent hiring guidelines, he said, that include requiring prospective employees to undergo a polygraph exam. King said that Carpenter, who previously worked elsewhere as a corrections officer, took a polygraph exam prior to being hired at the jail.

Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or at:

[email protected].

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