Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Arizona Prison Guard Awarded $750,000 for False Sexual Misconduct Allegations

On March 26, 2007, an Arizona jury awarded $750,000 to an Arizona prison guard who claimed a state investigator knowingly withheld evidence exonerating him of alleged malfeasance and sexual misconduct.

A female state prisoner accused the plaintiff, a 31-year-old male prison guard employed by the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADOC), of having sexual intercourse with her eight times and bringing her marijuana on two different occasions. Following an investigation the plaintiff was charged with 10 felony offenses and faced up to thirty years in prison. A grand jury ultimately decided not to pursue the case.

Following the grand jury?s decision the plaintiff sued the defendant, who was the lead investigator in the case for the ADOC. The plaintiff claimed the defendant knowingly withheld exculpatory evidence, lied, and purposely misled others in an attempt to support the prisoner?s allegations. The defendant claimed he was only doing his job and that the ?system worked? since the guard was ultimately not charged by the grand jury.

The guard claimed in his state lawsuit that as a result of the 4 months he spent under house arrest and the many months he spent with the 10 felony counts hanging over his head he suffered emotional trauma, became depressed, developed anxiety disorder, and contemplated suicide.

The plaintiff offered to settle prior to trial for $450,000. The defendant offered $50,000. After a 5 day trial and 3 hours of deliberation a jury awarded the plaintiff $750,000 in compensatory damages. Judge Robert C. Houser presided.

The plaintiff was represented by Mark P. Breyer of the Breyer Law Office in Phoenix, Arizona. See: Allen v. Smith, Maricopa County Superior Court, Case No. CV 2003-009311.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Allen v. Smith