Five male guards at Ohio’s only juvenile prison for girls have been indicted on charges of assault and molestation of prisoners. The Cincinnati Enquirer says a months-long investigation may result in more indictments. The charges were filed Tuesday in Delaware County, where the Scioto Correctional Facility is located. They come less than a week after Gov. Bob Taft forced Geno Natalucci-Persichetti, director of the Department of Youth Services, to resign. His resignation and the indictments come amid widespread criticism of the department, which is being sued by four prisoners who claim they were assaulted and sexually abused, were given inadequate medical care, and were denied access to legal representation.
Scioto houses between 100 and 120 females ages 12 to 21 who were convicted of felonies. “The use of force to maintain order in a prison is a necessary thing. These kids are not there for no reason,” said Delaware County Prosecutor David Yost. “But when the guards cross the line beyond guidelines the department set down, it becomes criminal in nature. “That’s what we have here.”