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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Appeals Court: Sexually abused female prisoners must pay debts before collecting settlement money

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The Michigan Court of Appeals says women who were sexually abused in state prisons must pay the victim restitution and child support they owe before collecting settlement money from their class-action suit.

A three-judge appeals court panel ruled today that an order protecting the names of the women who sued should remain in effect.

But the court also says that where there's a conflict between protecting the women's identities and making sure that they pay victim restitution and child support, the courts must make sure the debts get paid.

The 800 women shared in a $100 million lawsuit settlement stemming from sexual misconduct that they say happened inside prisons between March 1993 and July 2009. The suit was settled in 2009.