Victims suing former IDOC employee after sex abuse allegations

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DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Additional charges have been filed in the case of a former Illinois Department of Corrections employee who allegedly engaged in sex acts with at least seven female inmates. 

Michael Williams, 49, is now facing a total of 33, Class 3 felony charges.

They range from custodial sexual misconduct (26) and official misconduct (7). 

Williams appeared in court Thursday morning for an arraignment on the additional charges; he had pleaded not guilty earlier this week. 

According to court documents, Williams performed sex acts with various inmates as early as December 2016, with the most recent incident occurring in March of this year. 

Williams was a 20-year veteran of the IDOC, with his most recent position being a food services manager at the Decatur Correctional Center. 

Two women who were inmates while Williams was stilled employed at DCC have documented the alleged abuses in lawsuits filed against him earlier this summer. 

One woman says that by 2017, it was common knowledge “amongst other inmates and staff” that Williams was known “to have made sexually suggestive remarks to inmates in the past.”

She says Williams used his position as the food services manager to make sexual advances toward her while she worked under his supervision in the DCC kitchen.  

Williams went so far as to grope her “on several occasions” and, again on multiple occasions, show the woman “nude photos of himself from his cell phone.” 

None of the encounters between Williams and the woman were consensual, the lawsuit says. 

In addition to Williams, the woman names IDOC and Shelith Hansboro, a DCC warden at the time of the incidents, as defendants. 

The lawsuit says that the “protocol and procedures set forth by…IDOC and…Hansboro were wholly inadequate and ineffective in preventing sexual abusers on staff, like…Williams, from sexually abusing inmates.” 

The woman reported Williams’ actions, but was put in isolation, and “punished and treated rudely by…IDOC employees at the Decatur Correctional Center.” The lawsuit alleges that Hansboro was well-aware of various previous sexual abuse allegations against Williams, but failed to “protect female prisoners….who were housed at Decatur, from male staff at the prison generally, and from…Williams specifically.”  

Administrative review board officials decided that Williams was “not guilty of sexually harassing” the woman, and she was transferred from DCC to the Logan Correctional Center where she stayed before her release. 

In an additional lawsuit filed against Williams, a second woman who worked as a dishwasher at DCC alleges that Williams made a sexual advance against her while she was bent over, cleaning.

That incident — the first of several — occurred in “mid-March” of this year, 

The day after that advance, Williams grabbed the woman from behind and said “careful, there’s a camera…nice.” A day after that, the abuse escalated: The lawsuit says William forced the woman to meet him at an out-of-order bathroom near his office, where he met her alone and locked them both into the room. 

Williams then sexually assaulted the woman in the bathroom — and would do so again a few days later before eventually raping her. 

Another DCC warden, Jane Moskus, is named in the woman’s suit alongside IDOC Internal Affairs Investigator Brad Rodgers, for knowing about allegations against Williams and failing to protect female inmates from an abuser.

Williams was arrested on September 25 at DCC, following a joint investigation by Illinois State Police and IDOC’s Division of Internal Affairs. 

He will be in court again on October 30 for a preliminary hearing. 

If convicted, Williams could have to register as a sex offender.  

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