DOC pays domestic violence victim $1.1 million

KING 5

KING 5 NEWS

January 27, 2016

A Washington woman settled a lawsuit with the Department of Corrections for $1.1 million this week after she says the DOC didn't do enough to keep her safety after a offender was released in September of 2012.

The case involves an inmate named Roosevelt Reed. He was in prison from 1999 to 2012 on a domestic violence related case, and just months after his release in April of 2012, he beat someone up again. That woman was Jane Gregory.

Jane Gregory and Roosevelt Reed dated back in the 1980s, but she left him when he began to get in trouble. They reconnected while he was in prison in 2008, and he convinced her that he was a better man. When he was released in April of 2012, he had her sold. They began a new relationship and Reed moved in with her.

"He had all the right answers. He changed his life. ‘This has been great for me because I've changed my ways,'" Gregory said Reed told her. "I was gullible. I was manipulated, I'll be the first to admit it."

While living with Gregory in September 2012, Reed beat her up at an apartment in Des Moines. He broke six bones in her face; so far, she's had three facial reconstruction surgeries. 

Julie Kays is Jane's attorney and she says Reed was under DOC supervision, but was never supervised. She says DOC calculations showed Reed had a 76% recidivism rate, and because of that she believes they should not have allowed him to live with her in Des Moines.

"DOC didn't tell Jane everything she needed to know about Reed," Kays said. "What happened to Jane is akin to releasing a registered sex offender and putting him in a home with a bunch of little girls."

"Repeat domestic violence offender going to live with new intimate partner, not good idea. Let's not do that," Kays said. "By virtue of that fundamental failure, Jane was set up for disaster and that's what happened."

Kays hopes the $1.1 million settlement serves as a wake-up call for the Department of Corrections to change the way they handle domestic violence offenders.

The Department of Corrections wrote KING 5 on Wednesday afternoon saying that they did supervise Reed while he was on supervision. They added that the community corrections staff was not made aware of any problems until after Jane moved out. Recognizing the public safety need, the DOC has designed staff training on domestic violence and is in the process of rolling the training out.