A Nebraska prisoner choked, threatened and raped another inmate at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in 2016, prosecutors allege in court documents.

The Lancaster County Attorney's Office has charged DeVaunte J. Taylor, 35, with first-degree, forcible sexual assault and terroristic threats in the 2016 case.

On July 26, 2016, an inmate told a lieutenant that Taylor assaulted him the day before, according to a prison investigator's report.

Taylor, the other inmate said, grabbed him as he was getting off of his bunk bed and threatened to kill him if he didn't follow orders.

Then Taylor told the inmate to undress, and even as Taylor forced himself on the man, the inmate tried to evade him, the report said.

But Taylor took him to the floor, began choking him and again threatened to kill him, he told the lieutenant.

That's when he stopped resisting and Taylor raped him, according to the investigator.

The inmate was taken to Bryan West Campus, where a sexual assault examination found evidence consistent with his allegations, the report said.

Taylor has been incarcerated since 2014 after being sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

When an investigator asked Taylor about the 2016 allegations, the 35-year-old denied sexually assaulting the inmate, the report said.

State crime lab analysts found Taylor's genetic material during DNA testing on a sample from the inside of the inmate's boxers, the report said.

In a court motion filed last June, Taylor sought to have the state's DNA sample voided because he said an investigator obtained it illegally in violation of his due process rights.

Taylor alleges the investigator first collected a voluntary sample from him May 8, 2018, but he didn't wear gloves, the motion said.

Ten days later, the same investigator returned to collect another sample because protocol wasn't followed during the first collection, but Taylor refused because he thought it was "suspicious," he said.

The judge assigned to this case hasn't ruled on Taylor's request.

A Nebraska Department of Correctional Services spokeswoman declined to comment on the case specifically, but Director Scott Frakes said staff won't tolerate the sexual assault and harassment of inmates.

Data published by the department indicates Taylor's prosecution is rare.

Only one case of sexual assault perpetrated by an inmate was referred to prosecutors between 2016 and 2017, according to the most recent data available.

In 2017, 10 reports of sexual assaults by inmates were disclosed to department staff, and at the end of the year, four of those investigations were ongoing, according to the department's latest annual Prison Rape Elimination Act summary.

If convicted, Taylor faces up to 70 additional years in prison.

He is currently at the Lincoln Correctional Center.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.


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