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Teacher raped, stabbed after left alone with convicts in prison classroom

A teacher was left alone and attacked in a prison classroom.
A teacher was left alone and attacked in a prison classroom.
Arizona Department of Corrections

A teacher was left alone in a room full of sex offenders at an Arizona prison before being stabbed and sexually assaulted by a convicted rapist. The NY Daily News reported on June 19, 2014, that the attack happened on Jan. 30, 2014, Eyman Prison's Meadow Unit, but documents have just gotten out showing the extreme security lapses at the prison.

Eyman Prison's Meadow Unit houses around 1,300 convicts including child molesters, rapists, and other sex offenders.

While in the prison classroom, the unnamed teacher was administering a high school equivalency test (GED) to around a half-dozen inmates. There was no guard stationed in the classroom or even nearby. The teacher merely had a radio with which she could use to call for help.

An investigation is now ongoing into the situation, per the Department of Corrections.

Once the test was over, reports state that most of the inmates left. Convicted rapist Jacob Harvey stayed behind and asked the teacher if she could open the bathroom and that was when he attacked. Harvey is accused of using a pen to stab the teacher in the head, forcing her down on the ground, and then raping her.

The teacher's cries for help went unnoticed.

After the attack was done, Harvey attempted to use the radio to call for some help, but the radio was on a channel that was not used by the guards. It was then that he let the teacher use a phone and call for help.

Once all was done and help arrived, Harvey was said to be very calm in the classroom but would not talk to investigators so he asked for a lawyer. His new charges from the attack are sexual assault, assault with a deadly weapon, and kidnapping.

Harvey has pleaded not guilty.

Harvey is currently serving a 30-year sentence for the rape of a Glendale woman back in late 2011. He was just 17 at the time of that attack and is in the first-year of his sentence.

"Here you’ve got a guy that commits a hell of a crime ... and he’s put into an environment that actually gives him an opportunity to do his criminality because of a lack of staffing,” said Carl ToersBijns, who was the deputy warden at the Eyman prison in Florence until retiring in 2010 and oversaw the Meadows Unit for 19 months.

The teacher was not critically injured in the attack and has requested to not comment on the case at this time. She has filed a worker's compensation claim against the state or Arizona.

Emails passed around the internal prison staff system showed that Director Charles Ryan made new orders just days after the teacher's attack.

The orders stated that all non-corrections officer staff need to be issued pepper spray while working at prisons. Another memo said that guards at a nearby prison were required to check in on civilian staff members every single hour they are on grounds.

Three weeks after Harvey raped and attacked the teacher, he was said to have assaulted another employee at the prison. There are no detailed records with information on that assault, but Harvey's security classification was raised to the highest level.

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