CASPER — A woman incarcerated at the Wyoming Women’s Center is suing the facility and a former employee convicted of sexually assaulting her.
In 2019, Kyle Broberg was sentenced to three and a half to six years in prison on one count of second-degree sexual assault. He pleaded guilty to the charge in August 2019, dropping a second identical felony count in a deal brokered in Niobrara County.
According to court documents, Broberg worked in the warehouse of the facility, directly supervising the victim, who is serving time on burglary and forgery convictions.
The victim alleges four instances of assault between February and April 2019 in the complaint, filed in federal court last week. In each, according to the lawsuit, Broberg forced sexual touching with the victim and allegedly told her to perform oral sex on him once.
Broberg was prosecuted for two of those instances. The suit states that each reported assault happened in areas of the prison where there were no cameras, including inside a freezer in the warehouse.
Once an investigation into his conduct began, the complaint says, the victim was placed in solitary confinement and lost her job at the commissary warehouse, which she felt was in retaliation for reporting the assault.
The suit alleges that Broberg had already been under investigation “for being inappropriate with female prisoners” before the victim’s reported assaults, and was not reportedly allowed inside the prison.
Court documents state Broberg had worked at the Lusk prison for around two years, and had spent roughly six months working at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington before that.
During his sentencing in December 2019, Broberg apologized to the victim and several others involved in the case, saying that he suffered from an “addiction to lust,” according to court filings.
At the same hearing, court documents state the victim said she did not agree with the terms of Broberg’s plea agreement.
“When I lost everything and was sentenced due to my actions, I lost my freedom, I lost seeing my family and friends, I became a felon,” the victim told the court. “But the thing I still had was the control over my own body… until Kyle Broberg took this away from me as well.”
The lawsuit is brought against Broberg, WWC Warden Rick Catron and the Wyoming Department of Corrections, which it alleges did not “provide adequate training and supervision” to prevent the assaults.
The victim alleges in the complaint that the assaults violated her constitutional right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment, and that the warden and other staff did not uphold their duty of ordinary care for her.
According to the lawsuit, the victim has suffered severe depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress and physical pain stemming from the assaults. The incidents also made her unable to be left alone with male supervisors and decreased her performance at work, the complaint says.
The suit is seeking punitive, compensatory and other damages for the victim, which would have to be determined at a trial.
A letter from the state’s risk management office included in court filings shows that the office denied the victim’s claim since Broberg’s actions were “outside the scope of a public employee’s duties” and don’t constitute any negligence by the state.
According to the most recent documentation available, Broberg was serving his sentence at the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp in Newcastle as of September 2020. He asked the court to reduce his sentence at that time, but was denied.
A spokesperson for the Department of Corrections declined to comment on the case, citing the active litigation. The victim’s lawyer and Warden Rick Catron did not respond to requests for comment by press time.