Inmate Once Allegedly Raped in Prison Has Increasingly Bizarre Behavior

Inmate Once Allegedly Raped in Prison Has Increasingly Bizarre Behavior

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- A mentally disturbed woman allegedly raped in prison two years ago is back in prison for parole violations, where officials say she has had increasingly bizarre behavior. Her mother is fearful for her life.

Prison guard Louis Poleate, 43, was fired and sentenced to zero to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of third-degree rape.

The woman was returned to prison a year ago.

Her mother blames harsh treatment at the prison for her daughter's increasing problems.

"I just cry for days," the North Ogden woman told the Standard-Examiner. She said she has not heard from her daughter for two months, but gets letters from other inmates, who say her daughter talks to herself alone at night in her cell and her weight is down to 95 pounds.

Corrections spokesman Jack Ford said, "We are treating her in an appropriate manner consistent with her behavior."

A law firm is trying to help with pro bono negotiations to get her to a psychiatric ward or the state mental hospital.

The inmate, who was 19 at the time of the alleged rape, was diagnosed with antisocial urges, post-traumatic stress disorder from sexual abuse as a child, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia when she was 14, the mother said.

"We're trying to get her into psychiatric counseling," said Ogden lawyer Bob Phillips, who with son Randy Phillips have taken up the mother's cause.

"We're trying for some level of treatment that's above cruel and unusual. The potential of a lawsuit looms in the background, there as a club," he said.

The two attorneys believe the young woman is acting out more and more because of what happened to her and because correctional officers are taking an increasingly firmer hand with her.

Ford said the woman "is the No. 1 problem inmate we have. ... We talk about (her) every day."

Officials are seeking some way of dealing with her situation while faced with a long waiting list of inmates needing placement at the state mental hospital.

"She tears up housing units," Ford said. "No one wants to be around her. We can't get her into the mental hospital if she's a threat to other patients."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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