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$287,500 Awarded in Texas Jail Rape

On February 19, 2002, a federal jury in Lubbock, Texas, awarded $287,500 to a former prisoner raped in the Lamb county jail. The plaintiff, who used the pseudonym, J.L., suffers from scoliosis and brain damage. He was serving a 29-day sentence on unspecified charges. J.L. had asked to be placed in the cell of Eddie Rowton who had promised to play dominoes with him and read the bible to him. Rowton was awaiting trial in the murder of a five-year-old girl for which he was ultimately convicted and sentenced to death.

The lone defendant in the case was jail guard Pandy Aleman. Aleman was sued for not making his rounds at the jail, which allowed Rowton to rape J.L. in their cell on April 28, 1999. According to trial testimony, the reason Aleman was not carrying out his scheduled duties in the jail is because at the same time that Rowton was raping J.L., Aleman was raping an unidentified prisoner in another part of the jail. In 2000 Aleman pleaded guilty to having sex with that prisoner and was sentenced to five years probation.

The jury found that Aleman was responsible for J.L.'s rape and awarded J.L. $287,500 in damages in a trial presided over by judge Sam Cummings. Rowton had been acquitted by a criminal jury of raping J.L. Rowton died in prison of natural causes in 2001 while awaiting execution.

Source: Amarillo Globe News

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