Prison rape conviction first in Idaho's history
BOISE, Idaho. - 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.
An Ada County jury found 31-year-old Cody Thompson guilty of male rape and attempting to intimidate a witness on November 17 of this year.
Thompson has been convicted of more than two felonies and due to this, 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 cell mate 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 DUI 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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