Ex-prison guards await trial for alleged sex assaults

HONOLULU — Two former correctional officers are awaiting trial for allegedly sexually assaulting inmates at Hawaii’s women’s prison.

An indictment alleges Gauta Vaa sexually assaulted an inmate four times in 2015. Another indictment alleges Brent Baumann sexually assaulted three inmates in 2015.

Vaa and Baumann have pleaded not guilty. Hawaii News Now reports the state Department of Public Safety fired them.

The department says it has taken steps to protect inmates and complies with federal requirements for handling prison sex assaults.

Attorney Myles Breiner is representing some former inmates in a civil lawsuit against the state.

He says there’s a “culture of corruption” there with guards not properly supervised.

He says guards have smuggled in snacks, cosmetics and drugs to exchange for sex acts with inmates.

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This version corrects the spelling of Gauta Vaa’s first name.

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Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

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