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Missouri prison guard was sexually harassed, jury says. The award is six figures.

A Jackson County jury last week found in favor of a former Missouri prison guard who said other guards sexually harassed, discriminated and retaliated against her at a Kansas City prison, according to court documents.

The jury awarded $200,000 in damages to Ana Barrios in her lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Barrios testified in court that she felt alone, nervous and scared after being sexually harassed and retaliated against by other guards. She testified that she was being called “bitch,” “whore” and other derogatory names.

Because of the harassment and names she was being called, Barrios said, she altered how she prepared for work. She said she would leave for work an hour earlier because the stress had caused her to have a nervous stomach.

The jury returned with a mixed verdict on Oct. 2, finding in favor of Barrios on her claims of harassment and discrimination based on her gender, as well as her claim of retaliation.

The jury, however, found in favor of the corrections department on Barrios’ claims of race and disability discrimination. The jury denied Barrios’ request for punitive damages.

A spokeswoman for the corrections department declined to comment on the verdict, saying it doesn’t comment on litigation.

Barrios had sued the corrections department alleging that the discrimination, harassment and retaliation was a continuous and ongoing pattern and practice there.

KCRC
Sexual harassment is alleged in a lawsuit by a Missouri Department of Corrections employee. Keith Myers kmyers@kcstar.com

She was hired in September 2014 as a probation and parole assistant at the Kansas City Community Release Center. She was promoted to a corrections officer in September 2015.

At the same time, the facility was renamed the Kansas City Re-Entry Center and was turned into a minimum-security prison, housing inmates nearing parole.

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.
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