The woman who claims she was strip-searched in front of male prisoners at Canberra's jail will sue authorities over the alleged incident, a court has heard.
The Aboriginal woman, who is in her 30s, wrote a letter in January about an incident she said had occurred while she was being held on remand in the crisis support unit at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
She alleged that while she was lying on a bed, jail staff in "full squad gear" entered her cell to forcibly remove her clothing in an apparent effort to ensure she did not have anything dangerous on her.
The woman said this had taken place in front of five male inmates, who had "full view" of what was happening from their cells, while other prison staff were allegedly just "there to watch".
She wrote that she had been the "very recent" victim of a sexual assault, making this all the more horrifying.
"You can only imagine the horror, the screams, the degrading feeling, the absolute fear and shame I was experiencing," she wrote.
She also made allegations of institutional racism within the jail, which ACT Corrections Minister Mick Gentleman denied at the time.
The Human Rights Commission is investigating the woman's claims, which Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service chief executive Julie Tongs has described as "disturbing".
The woman has been remanded in custody on multiple sets of charges since September last year.
She appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday for sentencing over two attempts to use false prescriptions to obtain "highly regulated" medications.
The woman pleaded guilty to a "rolled-up" charge over the August 2020 incidents, in which she tried to get Valium and Serepax from pharmacies in Gungahlin and Civic.
Her Aboriginal Legal Service lawyer, Dean Rutherford, said the woman had not been prescribed those medications "for a number of reasons", but she had believed they would help treat some of her many health issues.
Mr Rutherford conceded that a jail term was appropriate for this offending in light of the woman's lengthy criminal history.
He tendered a copy of a news article about the alleged strip-search incident to demonstrate that the almost six months the woman had spent in custody on remand had been especially onerous for her.
"She's making a civil claim against the jail," Mr Rutherford said, telling the court the woman had engaged Ken Cush and Associates to pursue that matter.
Prosecutor Vienna Conliffe said the woman's offending was "not impulsive" and must have involved a degree of planning.
She told the court the medications in question were "highly regulated" because they could cause "serious harm" when not taken as prescribed.
Magistrate Louise Taylor agreed with lawyers on both sides of the case that the offending was at the low end of objective seriousness.
But she said it was "clearly not an aberration" when viewed alongside the woman's "not insignificant" record, which includes multiple instances of robbery, fraud and theft.
Ms Taylor ultimately sentenced the woman to three months in jail.
While the woman has already served that time on remand, she remains behind bars after having previously been refused bail on charges that are still pending.