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Jackson County hires Graves for jail investigation

Jackson County officials have hired former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves to investigate reports of sexual assault of women inmates at the Jackson County Regional Correctional Center.

In a joint statement Monday, County Executive Frank White and Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced Graves would conduct an independent investigation.

Jail staff were notified Friday that two women inmates had potentially been sexually assaulted by one or more male inmates, according to a statement from the county.

Staff contacted local law enforcement and notified them of the incident and requested that they conduct an investigation. Following an internal review, the county suspended one staff member without pay for potentially violating department policies and procedures.

James and White wrote they are “both shocked and deeply troubled” to hear of the assaults. They said that those responsible will be held accountable and all necessary changes will be made swiftly.

“Jackson County and Kansas City are both committed to the original purposes of a regional correctional center,” the statement said. “We have and will continue to work towards creating efficiencies while serving our constituencies better. However, those efforts will not be effective as long as misuses of power continue to exist.”