Female correction officers sue sheriff claiming widespread sexual harassment by inmates

CHICAGO -- Three female Cook County corrections officers have filed a federal lawsuit blaming the sheriff for inappropriate sexual conduct by jail inmates.

Back in April, WGN Investigates reported about the growing problem of inmates exposing themselves to female corrections staff, public defenders and court personnel.

In a newly created "exposure" unit at the jail, more than 100 detainees were accused of sexual misconduct while behind bars.

Now the female corrections officers are suing the sheriff saying the conduct continues to be widespread.

The lawsuit alleges inmates routinely grope and grab female staffers and subject them to "extreme forms of sexual harassment."  It includes inmates pleasuring themselves then throwing bodily fluids on corrections officers.

Cook County public defenders made similar complaints in their own lawsuit filed earlier this week.

A spokesperson for the sheriff calls the inmates' conduct despicable - and says they're doing everything they can to protect staff.