Former Corrections Officer to Stand Trial on Rape Charges

Former Corrections Officer to Stand Trial on Rape Charges

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A 19-year-old Utah State Prison inmate testified she repeatedly begged a correctional officer to stop raping her but did not dare fight back.

"I said "No, I don't want to do this,"' the woman testified Tuesday before 3rd District Judge Sheila McCleve. "I kept telling him to leave me alone."

Following the preliminary hearing, McCleve ordering Louis Poleate, 43, to stand trial for first-degree felony rape in the alleged Sept. 17 attack. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 24 before Judge Dennis Fuchs.

Poleate, a former transport officer, is accused of raping the woman in a holding cell at the prison. Poleate, who had worked at the prison for two weeks, was fired.

The woman said she gave Poleate a hug and a kiss when he first came into the cell and took off her handcuffs, leaving her legs shackled together. She said she believed Poleate was there to take her to the infirmary. Prison records show she was never taken to the infirmary.

She said that Poleate kissed her and told her she was beautiful. But when he began pulling down her jumpsuit, she told him she didn't want to "do this," she said.

The woman said Poleate got frustrated, left the room and returned with a condom and his pants undone. He then put her on the floor and raped her.

"He got up, pulled up his pants and left," she said. The woman said she didn't fight back because she would have been charged with assault on a police officer. She is serving a three-year sentence for five assaults on correctional officers.

Poleate did not take the stand in his defense, and his attorney declined to comment after the hearing.

Prosecutor Langdon Fisher presented a statement from a forensic nurse who examined the inmate the following day and said there was evidence of nonconsensual penetration.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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