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Former prison nurse at Oregon's only women's prison has been indicted on 25 counts of sexual assault on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Justice unsealed an indictment charging 37-year-old Tony Daniel Klein with 21 counts of depriving the women of their constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by sexually assaulting them. Klein, from Clackamas County, was also reportedly charged with four counts of perjury.

Through video, he appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually assaulting a dozen female inmates while working at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Oregon's lone women's prison.

Klein worked for the prison system from October 2010 through January 2018 when he resigned. The indictment alleges that Klein sexually assaulted 12 inmates in 2016 and 2017; some of it resulted in injuries. As the charge concluded, four alleged assaults included aggravated sexual abuse.

He was granted pretrial release, and he is scheduled for a trial on May 16. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon, Klein is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison. Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim also ordered Klein to surrender his expired passport and banned him from traveling outside Oregon without permission. The judge stated that Klein was not allowed to access or possess firearms or contact any of the alleged victims.

Department of Corrections spokesperson Jennifer Black said that 27 women brought allegations against Klein since 2019. Federal court records show Klein was named a defendant alongside other Department of Corrections employees in 13 lawsuits filed between January 2019 and May 2021. Two of those lawsuits were dismissed and the rest were settled.

In a statement Monday, Department of Corrections Director Colette S. Peters stated that the department has "zero tolerance" for sexual violence. "Today's indictment shows that the voices of women in custody are heard and taken seriously," Peters said in the statement. "Allegations will not be swept under the rug or ignored."

Klein "systematically sexually harassed, assaulted and pursued female inmates" while working at the prison. According to the lawsuit, Klein was "largely unsupervised" and even called inmates who did not need medical care from their housing units to the medical unit. Klein "rarely documented these impromptu visits," during which he wore scrubs without underwear "allowing him to easily access his penis for sexual activity without undressing."

In June 2020, the nursing board rebuked Klein and fined him $2,500 for failing to answer questions truthfully when he filed to renew his nursing license in 2018. According to board records, Klein answered "no" to questions about whether he had been investigated for any alleged state or federal law violations or types of abuse or mistreatment.

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