Female Inmate Recounts Jailhouse Rape to Court

By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief
By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief

Sevierville, Sevier County (WVLT) - Five women have been charged with raping a fellow inmate in the Sevier County Jail.

Twenty-eight-year-old Michelle Gunter, 27-year-old Kandi Arwood, 21-year-old Krystal Kawalski, 25-year-old Megan Hudson, and 19-year-old Vandi Morin.

With the exception of Vandi Morin who did not appear, the judge found sufficient evidence and ordered the case to be heard by a grand jury.

we warn you, some of the testimony may be graphic.

Michele Gunter, Kandi Arwood, Krystal Kawalski, and Megan Hudson faced their accuser for the first time in court Friday. The court heard from the 46-year-old woman who claims she awoke in her female dorm cell late in the afternoon of December 5th where she was sexually assaulted by five women.

"Grabbed me and started taking my clothes and they took my pants off of me and my socks and started going over my body and feeling inside my body with their hands," the victim says.

The victim said the ordeal lasted as long as 15 minutes. She told the court she was legally blind and could only identify two of the women, Morin and Gunter, who she called the leader.

"The other girl was telling the other ones what to do...hold my legs, do this or do that," she recounts.

The victim said the event took place in her fourth day of a 40-day sentence for shoplifting.

The court later learned a possible motive from fellow inmate Brandy Epling who said the women were looking for drugs.

"You know they were all saying you better give us what you got, you know, it was a murmur, they were all talking at once," Epling says.

Epling also claims there were some 16 or so other inmates in the cell, but said Morin said she would hunt anybody down after she got out of jail if they testified against her. But Epling chose to do so, "because I put myself in her place and if that happened to me I would want somebody to say something about it."

Nineteen-year-old vandi morin was not in court friday morning.

It was said in court that she called in sick to the clerk's office, but the judge in the case found that wasn't sufficient.

The judge said she would be entitled to a preliminary hearing at a later date, then issued a warrant for her arrest.


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