Former WV Prison Guard Settles 3 Sex Abuse Lawsuits

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A former correctional officer in West Virginia has settled three lawsuits by women who say he sexually abused them while they were inmates.

The women’s lawyer, state Sen. Mike Woelfel, says former guard James Widen agreed to settle the cases for a total of $240,000. The lawsuits say Widen abused the women while they were under his supervision at the now-closed Work Release Center in Huntington.

Widen was indicted in 2018 on charges of imposition of sexual acts on people incarcerated or under supervision. A hearing in that case is set for February.