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California Jail Settles Rape Case for $95,000

On November 19, 2001, the city of Santa Ana, California, agreed to pay $95,000 to an unidentified former jail detainee who was beaten and raped by his cellmate, to settle a lawsuit stemming from the attack. The 32-year-old unnamed accountant plaintiff was being held in the Santa Ana jail on federal counterfeiting charges. He said he endured weeks of harassment, bullying and extortion from his 270 lb. cellmate who had numerous swastika tattoos and was nicknamed "Hitler." (Media reports did not name "Hitler," apparently because he was never criminally charged in the attack.)

In February 2001, the accountant's lawyer asked federal district court judge David Carter to move his client to a different cell because he feared for his safety. The judge ordered jail officials to separate the two men, but the jail did nothing. Instead, the accountant was returned back to his cell. When "Hitler" learned of the attempted cell move that evening, he beat and raped the accountant. The accountant was moved to a different cell the next day after he reported the attack to jail officials. The victim had previously sought protection from jail officials who ignored him, just as they ignored judge Carter.

The accountant was ultimately convicted and sentenced to a year in jail. Hitler, in jail awaiting trail on federal robbery charges, was not charged in the assault.

The accountant filed suit against the city of Santa Ana. The city paid him $95,000 to settle the lawsuit. Neither city lawyers nor police would comment on the suit or the settlement. Jail officials claim they have taken steps to ensure prisoners in their care are better protected.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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