Several inmates are accusing a corrections officer of sexual harassment and rape. The accused officer, Steve Walcutt, took the witness stand Thursday in an evidentiary hearing to determine whether a lawsuit against him has merit. He says not only did he not do it, but he also couldn't have done it.
No criminal charges have been filed against Walcutt.
Ten inmates joined in the civil lawsuit, seeking at least $100,000 in damages. Anchorage Superior Judge John Suddock will determine whether there's evidence that the officer intentionally inflicted emotional stress on the prisoners or if he was acting in his capacity as a corrections officer.
To avoid punishment, inmate Alex Headreick said he gave in and provided sexual favors to Walcutt. Inmates allege Walcutt often blew kisses, made one prisoner stand naked in his cell when he'd come by for inspections, and raped another.
"He started fondling and that's when I said, 'Dude what are you doing? Leave me alone!'" Headreick said while testifying telephonically at the evidentiary hearing.
Walcutt said the lawsuit has had little impact on his job, but has greatly affected his personal life. He denied the allegations.
"Have you ever raped an inmate?" Defense attorney Alice Rahoi asked the corrections officer.
"No." said Walcutt.
"Have you ever touched an inmate other than in performance of your duties as a corrections officer?" Rahoi asked.
"No." said Walcutt.
Other officers said the Mat-Su Pre-Trial Facility and the Anchorage Jail, where Walcutt worked, are under constant surveillance. They say it wouldn't be possible for Walcutt to get away with abuse, but admitted there are some blind spots in the facilities.
"There potentially are areas the cameras don't see," said Sgt. Randall McLellan, a supervising corrections officer.
Walcutt's attorney suggests the inmates brought forward the complaint as a means to get attention, stress medication, or money.
Walcutt is still employed at the Mat-Su Pre-Trial Facility.
Later this week Judge Suddock will decide whether the suit will go to trial, and what evidence can be presented.