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Idaho’s first-ever prison rape conviction

Idaho’s state Department of Correction says the case of Cody Vealton Thompson, who was convicted by an Ada County jury Nov. 17 of raping his cellmate and attempting to intimidate a witness, is the first conviction of an inmate for raping another inmate inside an Idaho prison in the 120-year history of the state’s prison system. “This case shows Idaho is serious about eliminating prison rape,” said Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke. He said Idaho has been a national leader in implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act, a federal law passed in 2003. Click below to read the department’s full news release; Thompson faces sentencing Dec. 22.


Idaho Department of Correction
News Release

November 24, 2009

Inmate to be sentenced for prison rape

BOISE  - For the first time in the history of the state of Idaho’s
120-year-old correctional system, an inmate has been convicted of raping
another inmate inside a prison.

On November 17th, an Ada County jury found Cody Vealton Thompson, IDOC
#51260 (DOB 7/25/1978), guilty of male rape and attempting to intimidate
a witness.  Because Thompson has been convicted of more than two
felonies, he has also been deemed a persistent violator. That means he
now faces two possible life terms, one for being a persistent violator
and the other for the male rape conviction, when he is sentenced on
December 22, 2009.

“This case shows Idaho is serious about eliminating prison rape,”
said Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke. “We’re
committed to making sure our institutions are safe not just for staff
but for offenders, as well.”

Thompson raped his cellmate on September 15, 2008 at Idaho Maximum
Security Institution. Thompson has a lengthy criminal record that
includes convictions for burglary, assault, escape, grand theft,
aggravated driving under the influence and eluding an officer.  He
committed the crimes in Minidoka, Twin Falls, Bonneville and Cassia
counties. Prior to his conviction on the male rape charge, Thompson was
eligible to be considered for parole in March of 2017.

Idaho is one of the nation’s leaders in the implementation of the
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).  Correctional departments across the
country look to Idaho for advice on how to investigate rape cases, train
staff on how to eliminate sexual activity and teach inmates how to avoid
becoming a rape victim.

President George W. Bush signed PREA into law in 2003.  It mandates a
“zero-tolerance” policy for prison rape, requires states to collect
information on sexual assaults and gives inmates a variety of ways to
report attacks.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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