A former Kennebec County Correctional Facility detainee is suing the jail, its health care providers, the sheriff, the jail staff, county commissioners and others, claiming she was sexually and physically assaulted by a nurse and several staffers while she was held there.

Brandee A. Lewis’ lawsuit was filed last week in federal court by attorney Jackie T. DiGiacomo.

Lewis’ lawsuit says, “While being housed at the Kennebec County Correctional Facility as a detainee awaiting trial, (Lewis) was brutally sexually assaulted and physically assaulted by a nurse and multiple staff members at the Kennebec County Correctional Facility. The incident was captured on video by the jail’s security camera system.”

The lawsuit also says jail officers used Tasers and pepper spray on Lewis, and that those actions “violated Lewis’ constitutional rights and resulted in substantial physical pain as well as long-term anxiety and other mental, emotional and psychological harms.”

Brandee Lewis

Brandee Lewis

No answer has been filed yet in response to the lawsuit, and County Administrator Robert Devlin referred all questions about the county’s position to attorney Peter Wheeler, who was out of the office Wednesday afternoon, according to a woman who answered the phone.

The nurse, Kimberly Arlene Vigue, 37, of Jefferson, has been charged with two counts of simple assault that allegedly occurred Dec. 21, 2015, and involved giving injections and a suppository to Lewis against her will.

The civil lawsuit identifies numerous defendants: Kennebec County; the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office; the Corrections Division; the jail; Commissioners Patsy Crockett, Nancy Rines and George Jabar II; Devlin; Sheriff Ryan Reardon, Capt. Marsha Alexander, various corrections officers and others; Correctional Health Partners and Crisis and Counseling Centers; as well as Vigue.

It lists several allegations, including:

 gross sexual assault with regard to the administration of a suppository and says several corrections officers are criminally liable for it;

 failure to report sexual abuse of person in custody;

 violation of civil rights under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, citing cruel and unusual punishment.

Lewis, now 21, of Augusta and formerly of Hartland, has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and a personality disorder, according to the lawsuit, causing her to ” behave, in large part, in a child-like manner.”

It says Lewis refused her medication Dec. 21-22, 2015, and Vigue attempted to force it on her, assisted by mental health worker Gary Fearon and then Staff Sgt. Laura Belanger Briggs, as well as two corrections officers.

The lawsuit says Lewis “was strapped to a chair and unable to move her arms which were secured by restraints.” It says Vigue got four syringes from a medical supply room, three with saline and one with a sedative, and injected Lewis with them one at a time, asking each time if Lewis was going to take her medication and Lewis refusing.

It says Lewis was then taken to a shower room, her pants were pulled down, and Vigue administered suppository medication. The incident was captured on a jail security camera, the lawsuit says.

It says Briggs investigated the incident, but documents reportedly were “missing” or “lost.” However, the lawsuit says that “when the Office of Professional Review became aware of the situation, a separate investigation ensued,” leading to the criminal charges against Vigue.

The lawsuit also details two incidents it says occurred in October 2016.

One charges that Lewis was threatened with a stun gun when she initially refused to surrender a spork she had received with her dinner. It says that despite Lewis’s subsequent compliance, she was strip-searched, which humiliated her and added to her trauma.

It also says that Lewis at one point refused a corrections officer’s order to give him a piece of chalk she was using, instead putting it in the top of her suicide smock.

“In an effort to retrieve a piece of chalk from Lewis, Defendant (Darrell) Bryant violently slammed her against the wall, threw her to the ground and pinched her arm with such force as to cause a large, hand-sized bruise on her left arm,” the lawsuit says.

It says that Lewis, through an attorney, filed four separate grievances at the jail charging excessive use of force and other claims.

Lewis is asking a judge to rule in her favor, give her damages, including punitive damages, and reimburse her costs and attorney fees.

Documents filed at the Capital Judicial Center in connection with criminal charges against Lewis indicate she was charged with arson April 6, 2015, in connection with a fire that occurred in a dumpster at 8 Bangor Lane in Augusta. That charge was dismissed after Lewis pleaded guilty to charges of criminal threatening and violating conditions of release for an incident two days later.

In that case, Lewis was accused of brandishing a knife at Augusta firefighters at a fire station on Bangor Street.

Mental health providers and community hospital personnel referenced Lewis’ long history of mental health problems, and one noted that Lewis, who was born and raised in Skowhegan, had been “in and out of various facilities since age 6.”