12th suit filed against ex-parole officer in Ore.

  • Fri Dec 30th, 2011 3:03pm
  • News

Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. — A 43-year-old woman has become the 12th person to sue a former probation officer who’s serving time for sexually abusing probationers.

The latest lawsuit is the first to name the U.S. Department of Parole and Probation, which employed Mark John Walker for 22 years, the Eugene Register-Guard reported Friday. The suit alleged that other, unnamed agents “had reason to know” Walker was abusing his post, and the department failed to train and supervise him properly.

Walker, 52, is serving a 10-year prison term after pleading guilty last spring to sexually abusing five probationers between April 2005 and June 2009. Plaintiffs in previous suits recently have sought court permission to file amended complaints.

Those suits allege he used his position to manipulate or to sexually abuse people under his supervision.

Eric Suing, chief executive officer for U.S. Parole and Probation services in Oregon, declined to comment, saying his office does not publicly discuss pending litigation.

The woman alleges that Walker coerced her into sexual relations by threatening to have her taken back into custody, saying, “You know what I can do.” The abuse damaged her ability to “maintain or enjoy intimate relationships,” the suit said.

It also said Walker undermined her efforts to beat an addiction, ignoring the drugs she had and warning her about what were supposed to be random tests. That caused damage to her emotional and mental health and “caused her to engage in illegal acts to sustain her addiction, leading to her further imprisonment and loss of her home and property,” the suit said.