On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice said that a former nurse at Oregon’s sole women’s prison had been sentenced to 30 years for preying upon vulnerable women and abusing them for self-gratification.
After serving 30 years, Tony Klein, now 39, will be eligible for five years of supervised release, according to the Justice Department. Prosecutors requested a 41-year sentence, while Klein’s lawyers asked for a 25-year sentence. There has not yet been a restitution hearing.
In March of 2022, police in Clackamas County detained a man suspected of assaulting 12 other convicts. He was charged with 21 counts of violating the victims’ right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and four counts of perjury for allegedly lying during a deposition in a separate civil action involving the same conduct.
After pleading not guilty, Klein was found guilty on all 17 counts of abuse and four counts of perjury involving nine different women by a federal jury in July 2023.
According to the DOJ, Klein interacted with female inmates while working as a nurse in the medical unit at the Wilsonville institution from January 2010 to January 2018. He subjected female convicts to nonconsensual acts while in his employ. According to the DOJ, he abused patients “before, during, or after medical treatment” and hid this from his coworkers by having the victims wait for him in janitorial closets, exam rooms, or behind privacy curtains.
It’s been reported that at least one of these patients had been depending on him for chemotherapy treatment of breast cancer.
“Most of Klein’s victims consented to his unwelcome advances or endured his assaults out of fear of punishment if they pushed back against or reported his misbehavior,” the Justice Department said.
Some of these women have sued the Oregon Department of Correction and Klein. The state has paid $1.87 million in settlements to resolve at least 11 complaints without admitting liability.
During Klein’s trial, Matthew G. McHenry claimed that the inmates had conspired to frame his client for “free money.” On Tuesday, his lawyers announced they would be filing an appeal.