Danbury prison workers sued following sexual abuse case

Danbury prison workers sued following sexual abuse case


NEW HAVEN — The former Danbury Federal Correctional Institute prison guard convicted of sexually abusing a female inmate two years ago is now being sued by the victim in federal court.

The victim — identified as “E.J.” in court documents — filed the lawsuit March 16, in the U.S. District Court in New Haven against her abuser, Carlos Sanchez, several Danbury FCI employees and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The causes of action listed in the lawsuit are assault, battery, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, violation of due process rights, violation of the Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, and negligent hiring, retention and supervision.

Prison officials could not be reached for comment.


Sanchez, 34, was charged in 2018 for sexually abusing E.J. on two occasions at Danbury FCI when he worked there as a correctional officer. He pleaded guilty to the felony charge of sexual abuse of an adult ward in custody and was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment in 2019.

In her lawsuit, E.J. accuses Sanchez of using his position of power to “prey upon [her] and other women,” and claims that sexual abuse allegations against him had been raised with prison officials prior to him assaulting her in the summer of 2018.

She claims that “no action was taken to separate [him] from the female inmate population” or prevent him from having unsupervised contact with inmates. Instead, she claims, Sanchez was instead assigned to a unit housing “especially vulnerable” women, including herself.

In her lawsuit complaint, E.J. is accusing Danbury FCI’s warden, D.K. Williams, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons — which operates the prison — of failing to “take reasonable and necessary action to address reports of incidents of officer-on-inmate sexual abuse.”

She is also accusing a lieutenant and several unnamed guards at the prison of retaliating against her for reporting and assisting in the prosecution of Sanchez.

Shortly after Sanchez pleaded guilty to assaulting her, the lieutenant and guards canceled E.J.’s transfer to a halfway house and “caused [her] to receive a disciplinary infraction,” the lawsuit states.


E.J. claims that she was then held at the prison without a hearing for about 42 days “as punishment.”

Through the lawsuit, she is seeking redress for “extreme physical and emotional harm she suffered as a result of the conduct of all defendants,” as well as ongoing “pain and suffering.”

E.J. is being represented by New Haven-based attorney Paul F. Thomas. As of Thursday, there were no attorneys assigned to represent any of the defendants.

Published at Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:31:00 +0000

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