A female corrections officer was beaten and raped Thursday morning by an inmate in the law library on the fifth floor of the Duval County jail, Sheriff John Rutherford announced.
The veteran officer was beaten, threatened and "viciously sexually assaulted" by Jonathan Tave, who was in jail awaiting trial for a 2005 homicide, according to the sheriff's office.
"He armed himself with some type of shank and used that to overcome the officer and then sexually battered her," Rutherford said. "She was punched and beaten, as well as (the prisoner) using the shank."
Although the inmate had a shank -- a makeshift knife -- Rutherford said she was not stabbed.
Tave, 26, is described as 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 230 pounds. He was taken into custody without resistance after the incident.
The victim, a 29-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Authorities said her injuries were serious, but not life-threatening.
Rutherford said the victim worked in the library and regularly assisted prisoners with legal research. She carried standard correctional officer equipment -- pepper spray, handcuffs and a radio. Jail Director Gordon Bass said it's one of the areas not monitored by surveillance.
Bass told Channel 4 Tave was being housed on a floor with other violent offenders but said inmates at the main pre-detention facility are allowed to walk around inside the jail because they're monitored by indirect supervision and officers control the doors and elevators inside.
"Through intercom systems we notify inmates it's time for them to report to certain areas and they come out of their cells and traverse the hallways. So, in that respect you have to rely on their cooperativeness," Bass said. "There are some inherent dangers present and lurking within the correctional system."
"I think this is an indication of the type of people we house in our pretrial detention facility, and the kind of danger our corrections officers, men and women, face every day," the sheriff said.
Tave was awaiting trial on charges of murder, premeditated murder, arson, armed robbery, possession of a firearm by convicted felon, and battery on detention officer. Thursday afternoon he was also charged with four counts of sexual battery, aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer, kidnapping, two counts of depriving an officer of a means of protection of communication, possession of a concealed weapon by a felon and two counts of evidence tampering.
Rutherford said they were shocked by the violence of the attack and would examine policy, but his first impression was that no procedures were violated.