Despite the judge's release order, Reynolds was returned to the Los Angeles county jail and later that same night he was beaten and raped by his two cellmates. After the attack, Reynolds says he was threatened and forced to give his attackers a written statement saying the rape was "voluntary." The two attackers were later convicted of raping and assaulting Reynolds.
Reynolds filed suit in Los Angeles county superior court and a jury duly awarded him $1 million in damages against jail officials and the county. County counsel said they would appeal the verdict. [A separate class action lawsuit was also settled over the Los Angeles sheriff's policy of detaining prisoners, like Reynolds, who had been ordered released by the courts. PLN will report that settlement in detail when it is unsealed by the courts.]
Louis Aguilar, the county's lawyer, dismissed the verdict, saying "This was a very violent assault. It generated a lot of sympathy on the part of the jurors. It was a sympathy verdict."
Reynolds' attorney, Dennis Elber, saw things differently. "What the county did was wrong. Jay should never have had to go through that rape, or the process afterwards," Elber said.
Source: Los Angeles Times
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