Rock County Jail inmate accused of sexually assaulting cellmate

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

JANESVILLE -- A Rock County Jail inmate is accused of sexually assaulting his cellmate Sept. 8.

Tyler E. Clark, 26, of 1614 Henry Ave., Beloit, was formally charged Tuesday in Rock County Court with second-degree sexual assault and battery by prisoner.

Clark and his former cellmate were moved to separate units of the jail after the incident, Jail Cmdr. Erik Chellevold said.

Chellevold would not discuss details of the assault, saying it's still being investigated, but the criminal complaint states that it started around midnight Sept. 7.

Clark had been asking his cellmate for sexual favors for several days, even passing him notes “propositioning him for sex,” but the man told him he was not interested, according to the complaint.

Clark renewed his requests that night, and the man again rejected the advances, the man told investigators, and then Clark violently forced him into sexual acts.

The man “stated that he was repeatedly shouting at the defendant to stop because it hurt, and that at one point the defendant struck (the man) on the side of his face with his fist, telling him to be quiet,” according to the complaint.

Chellevold said such instances are rare.

The jail's annual statistics show five reports of inmate-on-inmate sexual assault or sexual harassment in 2016, with three male and two female victims. Two of those were determined to be untrue, one could not be substantiated, and two were referred to the district attorney's office.

The reports are required under the federal Prison

Elimination Act, often referred to as PREA.

Chellevold said inmates might report an assault once a week, but some are found to be false, and some turn out to be “horse play” that was misinterpreted.

The jails takes steps to prevent assaults, including a camera system, but cameras are not allowed in cells, Chellevold said.

Jail inmates are told that if they see or hear something, they should report it, Chellevold said.

The jail's 2015 report shows three instances of sexual assault or harassment, with four female victims, all referred to the district attorney's office.

As a result of the 2015 reports, the jail started hourly walk-throughs at irregular intervals, and because of two of those instances started transporting female and male inmates in separate vehicles, the report states.

The 2015 and 2016 reports do not list any assaults or harassment by jail staff.

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