A Grand Rapids, Michigan man is claiming that a prison counselor he impregnated while incarcerated at Parnall Correctional Facility forced him to be her sex slave.
Steven Moerman, 44, was serving time for a drug charge in 2014 when he began receiving counseling for mental illness from Susan Lee Clingerman. According to a lawsuit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, Moerman says Clingerman, who is also 44, turned him into “a virtual sex slave, demanding sexual gratification at her whim.”
The lawsuit names Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, the Michigan Department of Corrections, and current and former prison officials as defendants. It is seeking unspecified damages for sexual assault, emotional distress and inadequate hiring, training and supervision.
“Defendants failed to provide Mr. Moerman humane conditions of confinement by knowingly, voluntarily, recklessly, and with willful disregard to Mr. Moerman’s personal safety, allowing him to be sexually assaulted and raped,” the lawsuit states.
As such, the lawsuit claims that prison officials were most likely aware of what was occurring because another prison counselor acted as a lookout for Clingerman while she took advantage of her position to violate Moerman.
Clingerman was banned from prison property in September 2014 and was then fired in January 2015 after a corrections officer caught her and Moerman having sex in her office, according to prison records contained in the lawsuit.
The officer, Timothy Hampton, told state police investigators that he had looked through the glass door of Clingerman’s office and saw her bent over a chair – before he walked into the office and she jumped up and pulled her skirt down.
Investigators reportedly turned up no evidence of another employee acting as a lookout during encounters, but Clingerman signed a written statement admitting to having sex with Moerman “on at least four occasions.”
She also admitted she was “pregnant w/ [Moerman’s] child,” and claimed that the relationship was consensual. According to the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act however, a prisoner is unable to consent to sex with a prison employee because of the power they have over them granted by their position.
Clingerman was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct as a result of the state investigation, and eventually pleaded guilty to the lesser felony charge of misconduct in office. Court records show she was sentenced to 27 days in jail and 18 months of probation.
Clingerman was “desperately wishing to conceive a child,” and “intentionally targeted [him] and began fertility treatment,” Moerman claims in the lawsuit, which includes a DNA test proving that he is the father of a child born to Clingerman in April 2015.
In May of this year, Clingerman filed a paternity suit against Moerman, who now asserts that he wants to have shared custody of the child. In addition to her criminal judgment, Clingerman has also had her social workers license revoked.