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Pregnant Nevada inmate sues

Associated Press

A Nevada inmate who became pregnant at a women’s prison in North Las Vegas has sued a guard who allegedly impregnated her, the state Corrections Department, Gov. Kenny Guinn and Correction Corp. of America which runs the prison.

The U.S. District Court suit filed by Korina Martin, due to deliver her baby in late January, names Randy Easter as the father. Easter was fired from the prison after the pregnancy was discovered.

According to the lawsuit, filed by Las Vegas attorney Scott Olifant, sex between Martin and Easter took place at the Southern Nevada Women’s Correctional Facility. The state pays CCA to run the prison.

The suit says guards hired by that company are less qualified and get less training than guards at state prisons, and the lack of training led to violations of Martin’s constitutional rights.

Howard Skolnik, assistant director of the department of corrections who oversees the women’s prison, said Thursday training for guards at the women’s prison equals that of guards at the state prisons, except for firearms instruction.

Besides asking for damages, the suit also seeks to require the state to provide medical care to Martin and her child until the youngster is 18 years old.

The suit also calls for an injunction to prevent the prison from removing the baby from Martin when it is born. The state has a policy of separating a newborn child from an incarcerated mother soon after birth, Olifant said.

“We are not equipped to keep infants in the institution,” Skolnik said. “We can’t raise children in prison.”

After the pregnancy was discovered, Martin was transferred to a prison in Carson City where she is now confined.

Prison officials said a DNA test will be conducted when the baby is born to determine the father, and criminal charges may be filed because it’s a felony for a prison staffer to have sex with an inmate.

Easter couldn’t be reached for comment. Donna Nolan, a spokeswoman for Corrections Corporation of America, said the company had no comment on the matter.

Attorney General Brian Sandoval’s office is representing the prison department and Guinn. A spokesman for Sandoval said the lawsuit will be opposed and the state would soon file an answer.

Martin was convicted of robbery and coercion in Clark County and was sentenced in September 2001 to two to 10 years for robbery and consecutive one to four for coercion.