PORTLAND, Ore.—A federal jury in Portland found a former Oregon Department of Corrections employee guilty today of sexually assaulting nine female inmates while serving as a nurse at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Oregon’s only women’s prison.
Tony Daniel Klein, 38, of Clackamas County, Oregon, was convicted of 17 counts of depriving his victims of their constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by sexual assault and four counts of perjury.
“Tony Klein used his position of authority to prey on women in custody who were in a uniquely vulnerable position. He further led his victims to believe they had no power to resist or report his abuse,” said Natalie Wight, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “This verdict would not have been possible without the courage and resolve of these women and the dedication of our partners at the FBI and Civil Rights Division.”
“This defendant is being held accountable for sexually assaulting female inmates under his care, custody and control,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Abuses of power and authority, like this, where the defendant took advantage of his position as a medical professional to satisfy his own sexual desires, will not be tolerated, and justice will be pursued. We thank the survivors of these sexual assaults for having the courage to come forward and tell their story. The Civil Rights Division will continue to vigorously hold accountable those who abuse their authority by committing sexual assault.”
“As a state prison nurse, Mr. Klein used his position to intimidate and sexually assault multiple women. His heinous actions were only brought to light by a small group of courageous women who came forward, even despite their precarious circumstances of being incarcerated. Their willingness to report their victimization undoubtedly saved others from Mr. Klein’s predatory actions,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “This verdict demonstrates the commitment by the FBI and our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office to hold accountable public officials, who not only violate the public trust, but even go so far as to commit monstrous actions such as those proven at trial in this case.”
According to court documents, from 2010 until January 2018, Klein served as a nurse at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon. In his position, Klein interacted with female inmates who either sought medical treatment or worked as orderlies in the prison’s medical unit. Aided by his access to the women and his position of power as a corrections employee, Klein sexually assaulted or engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct with many female inmates entrusted to his care.
By virtue of his position as a medical provider, Klein was often alone with his victims and assaulted many before, during, or after medical treatment. For women who worked in the medical unit, Klein manufactured reasons to get them alone in secluded areas such as medical rooms, janitor’s closets, or behind privacy curtains. Klein made it clear to his victims that he was in a position of power over them, and they would not be believed if they tried reporting his abuse. Fearing punishment if they fought back against or reported his conduct, most of Klein’s victims submitted to his unwanted advances or endured his assaults.
On March 8, 2022, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment charging Klein with depriving his victims of their constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by sexual assault and perjury.
Following announcement of the jury’s verdict, Klein was remanded into the custody of U.S. Marshals Service pending his sentencing on October 17, 2023, before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon. Klein faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
This case was investigated by the FBI Portland Field Office. It was prosecuted by Cameron A. Bell, Trial Attorney for the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section, and Gavin W. Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah Horsley assisted the trial team.