JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A female corrections officer was beaten and raped Thursday morning by an inmate in the law library on the fifth floor of the Duval County jail, Sheriff John Rutherford announced.
The veteran officer was beaten, threatened and “viciously sexually assaulted” by Jonathan Tave, who was in jail awaiting trial for a 2005 homicide, according to the sheriff’s office.
“He armed himself with some type of shank and used that to overcome the officer and then sexually batter her,” Rutherford said. “She was punched and beaten, as well as (the prisoner) using the shank.
Although the inmate had a shank — a makeshift knife — Rutherford said she was not stabbed.
Tave, 26, is described as 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 230 pounds. He was taken into custody without resistance after the incident.
The victim, a 29-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Authorities said her injuries were serious, but not life-threatening.
Rutherford said the victim worked in the library and regularly assisted prisoners with legal research. She carried standard correctional officer equipment — pepper spray, handcuffs and a radio.
“I think this is an indication of the type of people we house in our pre-trial detention facility, and the kind of danger our corrections officers, men and women, face every day,” Rutherford said.
Tave was awaiting trial on charges of murder, premeditated murder, arson, armed robbery, possession of a firearm by convicted felon, and battery on detention officer. He will now face additional charges.
Rutherford said they were shocked by the violence of the attack and would examine policy, but his first impression was that no procedures were violated.
At this point, details are rather vague. What we know is that the perp was a very, VERY bad young man, as well as a very large and strong young man. When he gets to court, nothing he could do to the corrections officer would make his eventual sentence more severe as he is already facing life in prison or the death penalty, so he has little to lose from an assault/rape charge.
From the news reports, there appears to be very little hands on escorting of the prisoner(s), relying on remote monitoring, electronic door locks, etc. However, the law library where the corrections paralegal/officer worked was (per news report) not monitored.
I’d be as outraged if a grandfather had been severely beaten and raped as a grandmother under these circumstances; I believe that somebody with a past that bad and with such serious charges against him should not have been allowed free access to the law library in an unmonitored situation where only one unarmed paralegal/guard was on duty that had been a corrections officer longer than the perp had been alive and was presumably much weaker than the perp.
Additional information here: