Hawaii says its inmates in Ky. might have been sexually assaulted

HONOLULU — Hawaii's public safety director says 23 female inmates, including seven from Hawaii, are alleging they were sexually assaulted at a private prison in Eastern Kentucky.

Clayton Frank said Friday that one Hawaii case, from 2007, resulted in the conviction and termination of a corrections officer at Otter Creek Correctional Center in Wheelwright, Ky.

Frank says the other cases are still being investigated, so he can't elaborate on them.

The state of Hawaii this month sent the Department of Public Safety's deputy director, Tommy Johnson, and two other officials to Kentucky to probe the allegations.

The state pays the Corrections Corporation of America $50 million a year to house some 2,000 inmates in mainland prisons because there isn't enough room for them in Hawaii facilities.

All the women are held at Otter Creek, near Wheelwright in Floyd County.

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