10/25/2023 Update: On February 23, 2018, Rolle and the County executed two separate settlement agreements.  Both contained confidentiality provisions barring Rolle from disclosing “the existence” of the agreements or their terms. Each was for $50,000, for a total settlement of $100,000. The settlement with Cumberland County stipulated that 50% of the proceeds were being withheld pending Rolle’s testimony in a departmental hearing and possible administrative law hearing related to departmental charges against John Berry.

On December 18, 2017, a Vineland woman who said that she had been incarcerated at the Cumberland County Correctional Facility “through multiple periods of her life” claimed that “guards sexually harassing and abusing female inmates was rampant at the jail” and that guards are able to get away with it “because of the failure of Cumberland County to enforce any form of sexual harassment policy.”  Her lawsuit named one particular guard as a defendant and claimed that he sexually assaulted her several times.

In her lawsuit, Fatima Rolle of Vineland claimed that Corrections Officer John Berry grabbed her buttocks and breasts when he was alone with her.  She claimed that one two occasions in 2014, Berry “cornered” her in the locker room by the warden’s office and forced her to have intercourse with him and perform oral sex on him.  (Note: On October 6, 2017, another lawsuit alleging forced sex by jail officers was reported in the Daily Journal.  That article identifies one of the officers as “John Barry” who may be the same person identified as “John Berry” in Rolle’s lawsuit.)  

She said that male corrections officers were regularly left supervised with female inmates in areas without cameras.

Rolle’s lawsuit, filed by Mark R. Natale of Mount Laurel, is only a list of allegations. Nothing has been proven and the burden of proof remains on Rolle.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]