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Agency told to 'stand down' in assault inquiry

Posted: 1:46 PM, Mar 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-16 17:46:11Z

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Department of Corrections refused for nearly six months to allow the state's workplace safety agency to inspect a prison where a female guard was sexually assaulted.

Records obtained by The Associated Press show that the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health only learned about the assault by reading an Associated Press story about the attack nearly a month after it happened. In the ensuing months, records show the Corrections Department repeatedly delayed the workplace safety investigation, despite laws requiring that inspectors have prompt access.

When the inspection of the Yuma prison was finally conducted in November, the room where the attack happened on April 13 was empty of furniture and prison guards had been advised they could refuse to talk to investigators. In the end, the workplace safety organization determined that no workplace safety rules were broken and issued no citations.