BLOOMINGTON — Seven women who once served time in the McLean County jail told a jury Tuesday about alleged abuse and threats they said they experienced from a former correctional officer charged with intimidation and custodial misconduct.
Laura Adams testified that she did not report the alleged sexual advances and inappropriate conduct from Robert Hall because she feared for the safety of her 18-year-old daughter, also an inmate at the jail in January 2007.
“I was leaving my daughter behind and I didn’t know what he might say or do to her,” said Adams, who has finished her prison term on drug charges.
Adams said she disclosed her accusations in a 2008 letter to a male inmate. Investigators from the sheriff’s department later questioned her and other former female inmates about Hall during visits to the Lincoln Correctional Center.
Hall is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with two jail inmates in 2006 and 2007 and threatening a third in 2008. A previous trial on the charges ended in a mistrial in June after the jury could not reach a verdict.
Paula Ledbetter told the jury that Hall tried on several occasions to engage her in sexual activity while she was in the jail from March to November 2007. Ledbetter and Adams said they performed cleaning and other duties under Hall’s supervision while they were incarcerated.
Hall’s case could go to the jury today after Assistant State’s Attorney Bill Workman wraps up the state’s case. Defense lawyer David Rumley said Tuesday that he does expect to call any witnesses.