Deputy Ricardo Hardy Charged With Having Sex With Female Inmate At DuPage County Jail

DuPage County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ricardo Hardy Charged With Multiple Felonies For Allegedly Having Sex With Female Inmate At DuPage County Jail

Deputy Ricardo Hardy Charged With Having Sex With Female Inmate At DuPage County Jail

WHEATON, ILLINOIS (May 22, 2023) – A DuPage County Sheriff’s Office Deputy identified as Ricardo Hardy has been charged with having sex with a female inmate.

The deputy worked at the DuPage County Jail. Ricardo Hardy was charged with custodial sexual misconduct in connection with the incident.

Prosecutors are saying that the defendant had sex with the inmate in her cell and in the shower area. The alleged incidents took place between March 13 and April 26.

Ricardo Hardy was taken into custody on May 15 and is being held on a $500,000 bail. The DuPage County Sheriff’s Office has issued a statement and said that they have zero tolerance for this type of behavior.

A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.

Liability For Sexual Misconduct By Wheaton Correctional Officers

Inmate sexual abuse is far more common than many people realize. A large portion of this abuse is at the hands of other inmates. But many inmates are also sexually exploited by the correctional officers who are supposed to be taking care of them. According to  the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “In 2011-12, an estimated 4.0% of state and federal prison inmates and 3.2% of jail inmates reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another inmate or facility staff in the past 12 months or since admission to the facility.” Women are much more likely to be victimized and are particularly at risk. There are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent sexual assaults in the prison.

  • Prisons should have adequate means to supervise the conduct of inmates as well as guards.
  • Jails should be adequately staffed. Sexual misconduct is more likely to thrive at jails that are understaffed.
  • Correctional officers should be thoroughly vetted and well trained.

In 2012, Illinois amended its laws and made it illegal for any member of law enforcement or the penal system to have sex with a detainee. Among other things, correctional officers have meaningful power and authority over inmates. There is no sense in which an inmate can give informed consent for sex with a correctional officer. Depending on the facts of any case, a prison could be liable if a correctional officer has sex with one of their inmates.

Consider, for example, Morris v. Eversley, 282 F. Supp. 2d 196 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). The court held that a prison superintendent could be liable for a correctional officer’s sexual assault on an inmate. This is possible when (1) the superintendent had actual or constructive notice of past violations which they failed to remedy, (2) were grossly negligent in supervising the officer or (3) were deliberately indifferent to a known risk of harm. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any instance of inmate sexual abuse.

  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • A police report should be made.
  • An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.

It is illegal and ethically wrong for any correctional officer to have sex with an inmate in their care. Despite this, many abuses of power persist and women are often sexually exploited within the prison system. Any person that is sexually abused by a correctional officer may have legal recourse through a civil claim. It is important that all evidence is properly preserved after any such incident. Jails will often go out of their way to deny responsibility for abuses of power within their institution.

Investigating Sexual Abuse Claims At The DuPage County Jail

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our best wishes to the woman involved in this incident with Deputy Ricardo Hardy. It is our sincere hope that all of the facts come out. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened and how something like this could have taken place.

Have you or someone that you care about been mistreated during your stay at the DuPage County Jail? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of civil rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that victims of prison abuse are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support after any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.