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Raped Georgia Prisoner Awarded $300,000 Against Jailer, City

In this civil rights lawsuit, a Georgia-prisoner who was allegedly raped in
her cell by a city jailer was awarded $300,000 plus attorneys fees and
court costs.

Plaintiff, Mary Isdell, claimed that while she was imprisoned in the Forest
Park Jail, jailer Jack McBerry entered her cell and raped her. After the
alleged attack, security cameras recorded McBerry sexually harassing Isdell
and another female prisoner. McBerry was subsequently convicted of sexual
harassment, but was not prosecuted for the rape.

Isdell sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that McBerry and the City of
Forest Park violated her civil rights. Isdell further alleged that city
officials negligently failed to institute appropriate procedures to prevent
this type of situation and negligently failed to provide appropriate training.

Defendants denied Isdell's allegations, claiming that McBerry did not rape
her, that their training and procedures were adequate, and that they were
unaware of the alleged rape or any prior actions by McBerry.
In December 1992, the Court found that McBerry and the City of Forest Park
had violated Isdell's constitutional rights. Isdell was awarded a total of
$334,432: $60,000 in compensatory damages and $40,000 in punitive damages
against McBerry, and $50,000 in compensatory damages, $150,000 in punitive
damages, and $34,432 in attorney fees and court costs against the city.
Isdell was represented by Bensonetta Tipton-Lane and Amy M. Totenberg, both
of Atlanta. See: Isdell v. McBerry, USDC ND GA, Case No. 1:89CV1951-HPW.

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Related legal case

Isdell v. McBerry