KKTV 11 News | Colorado Springs, Pueblo | News

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Pueblo Prisoner Abuse

By: Rick Sallinger
By: Rick Sallinger

Three guards have been fired and two face criminal charges, after an investigation into sexual abuse of females at the state prison for women in Pueblo.

The Colorado Department of Corrections launched the investigation, in part, because a woman behind bars came forward with a story to tell.

No sex is allowed behind the barbed wires of the prison. But, Elizabeth Gardesani says one guard, Robert Donald Anderson, initiated sexual contact with her on numerous occasions.

Anderson has since been fired. He now faces criminal charges of sexual contact in a penal institution by a public employee.

Gardesani wore a hidden microphone, at the request of prison officials, to get the correctional officer to admit the relationship. Gardesani says, he did.

In the past four years, correctional officers have faces criminal charges for sex with inmates 22 times.

Mike Rulo, the inspector general for the Colorado Department of Corrrections says there's a policy of zero tolerance, "once a staff member is compromised by this type of relationship they can very easily be extorted."

At the state prison, investigators found female inmates were allowed to wear "less than appropriate" attire, and "doll up" for male staff. And they say staff would bring in cookies and other contraband for female inmates The investigation also revealed, the prisoners would 'bait' male staff in order to sue the state

Rulo suggests that's what Elizabeth Gardesani might have been trying to do, "having overheard conversations of between inmates gardisani and other inmates that was her desire and her intent."

Gardesani denies that claim. And she even says, in the prison, sometimes guards engage female inmates in prostitution.

She says she's speaking out to help protect other female inmates from abuse.

Robert Anderson now faces felony charges of sexual misconduct at penal institution. He in not commenting on the case.


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