A gay inmate is suing a Colorado prison for putting him in a cell with a prisoner who attacked and repeatedly raped him.
The Denver Post reports that the unnamed 21-year-old man is seeking compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering, after Florence prison officers ignored prior warnings that the cellmate had threatened to attack the him.
The inmate apparently received injuries to his rectum, ribs, chest, left bicep and face, and was laughed at by a prison officer when he told him he had been beaten by his cellmate.
“This is malice. This is sadistic,” says attorney David Lane, who has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the gay inmate. “They set him up to be beaten and raped and that is exactly what happened to him.”
The victim alleges he told multiple officers that William Mexican, a member of a prison gang known as The Boys, had forced him to leave the prison yard due to his sexuality and threatened to attack him if he returned. The threats apparently began on Aug. 6, 2014.
He made an “emotional plea,” according to the Denver Post, to officers that his life was in danger. In response, one merely smiled at him. Mexican, who was later charged with assaulting the victim, told the officers he “would have issues” if the victim returned to the prison yard.
In response, the victim was formally punished by prison officials for being “deceitful” about the threats made against him, according to the lawsuit.
A prison lieutenant also reportedly said that he didn’t care about carrying out safety checks before assigning cellmates, and despite the victim’s pleas, on Oct. 8, 2014, he was placed in a cell with Mexican, with officers insisting he “would be fine.”
However, Mexican proceeded to repeatedly rape and beat him over the course of three days, according to the lawsuit. Mexican also allegedly forced the victim to clean his own blood from the cell walls and floor.
Despite pushing a duress button in the cell, the victim claims that no officers came to help. The lawsuit says that Mexican admitted to assaulting the victim to prevent other prisoners from thinking he “condoned homosexuality.”
Mexican was indicted on March 2015 on charges of sexual abuse by force or violence and assault resulting in serious injury, later admitting guilt to the assault charge.
A date for the trial has yet to be confirmed.
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