Edmonton prison guard charged with sex assault against female guard

An independent review of the prison on the northeast edge of the city found its work atmosphere was toxic

Police have charged a former guard at a federal prison in Alberta with sexually assaulting a female co-worker.

Graham Trevor Spilsbury also faces a charge of assault with a weapon against the woman. A court document says the weapon was a rubber glove.

The 50-year-old has been released on a promise to appear in court April 17. Police say they cannot release further details as they continue to investigate other allegations.

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The alleged crimes happened between 2010 and 2016 at the maximum-security Edmonton Institution.

The Correctional Service Canada said in a statement Wednesday that it alerted police after staff brought forward allegations of inappropriate conduct in 2017.

That same year, an independent review of the prison on the northeast edge of the city found its work atmosphere was toxic. The review made dozens of recommendations for change.

“At the same time, CSC launched an internal disciplinary investigation, which determined that a number of misconduct allegations were founded,” said the statement.

“As a result, seven employees have been terminated and four are no longer working for CSC.”

The union that represents guards did not respond to a request for comment on the criminal charges.

Last year, four female guards at the prison also filed a lawsuit against the CSC and the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers. The women claimed they had suffered prolonged abuse from male colleagues that included waterboarding, although the lawsuit did not detail how it happened.

The suit did claim that a male guard pushed one of the women over a desk, stuck his hand down her pants and locked a set of handcuffs through her underwear.

Another woman alleged that she was constantly harassed for being gay and once suffered chemical burns on her buttocks and upper legs after she used a washroom where pepper spray had been left on a toilet seat.

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One of the women also claimed a male guard often chased her around the office with his penis out and that her head was shoved under his buttocks while he sat on a toilet. She alleged another guard stalked her, touched her inappropriately at work and left sex toys in her car.

The lawsuit did not name the alleged perpetrators and none of the allegations has been proven in court.

The law office representing the women could not confirm Wednesday if Spilsbury is one of the guards referred to in the lawsuit.

The Canadian Press

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