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Los Angeles County Pays $2.8 Million For Failure To Protect Accused Child Molester In Jail

An accused child molester who was savagely beaten by other prisoners after Los Angeles (LA) Men?s Central Jail officials negligently placed him in communal housing won a $2.8 million settlement from LA County.

Jose Beas, 38, was babysitting a young girl who complained to her parents that he had put his hand inside her pants and penetrated her anus. He told police that she had been playing like a dog, and he had patted her buttocks from the outside. Based upon the parent?s complaint and the girl?s statement, he was arrested and arraigned. The medical examination came back negative as to the alleged penetration.

Only three days after arraignment, detainee Beas was found laying in a pool of blood in the jail module?s toilet area. He suffered permanent brain damage, for which he was hospitalized for 3 ½ months, followed by nine months of skilled nursing home care, eleven months of rehabilitation and ten months of outpatient therapy. He suffers permanent speech, physical and cognitive impairment.

Beas? family, represented by Los Angeles attorneys Vicki Sarmiento and Dale Galipo, sued in U.S. District Court for physical damages and civil rights violations. They alleged that LA Sheriff?s staff should have known or been trained to know that a person charged with child molestation must be isolated from other prisoners. The Sheriff and County were sued under supervisory liability theories. They defended by saying that it was prisoners, not jail staff, who beat Beas and that there was no proof Beas was beaten because of his suspected child molester status. However, the defendants settled four weeks before trial, in February 2007, for $2.8 million. It is not known if Beas was ever prosecuted. See: Beas v. County of Los Angeles, U.S.D.C. (C.D. Cal.) Case No. CVO5-3723 MMM (Mex).

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Related legal case

Beas v. County of Los Angeles