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Female Prisoner Raped By Florida Sheriff's Deputy Settles Lawsuit for $91,666

by Lonnie Burton

Shortly before the scheduled date of trial in the case, a woman who said she was raped by a Bay County, Florida, sheriff's deputy during a transport run to another jail agreed to settle her lawsuit for just over $91,000. That amount included $25,000 paid by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), who at the time was contracted to run the Bay County Jail.

The case began on March 28, 2003, when a female prisoner, identified in court documents only as "Jane Doe" because she was the victim of a sexual assault, was being transported from the Bay County jail to the nearby Jackson County jail to answer a misdemeanor charge there. In violation of the policy of the Bay County jail, which is run by CCA, a lone male officer--Floyd Gladney--transported Jane Doe to Jackson County in a sheriff's department vehicle. On the way there, Gladney diverted from his route, drove to a wooded area, where he displayed his firearm, and under threat "committed sexual battery against her," the later-filed complaint said.

The ordeal lasted nearly four hours, after which Jane Doe was dropped off at the Jackson County jail. Once there Jane Doe told Jackson County jail staff that she was raped but they did nothing to help her until the next day, when she was finally seen by medical staff, and taken to a local hospital for examination.

Jane Doe filed a state lawsuit against both Jackson and Bay counties, CCA, and Gladney. The complaint alleged claims of negligence, failure to supervise, civil rights violations and intentional tort. Jane Doe sought monetary damages against each defendant, including $1 million in punitive damages against Gladney.

According to the lawsuit, CCA was negligent for turning Jane Doe over to a lone male officer because her "rape was foreseeable by Defendant CCA at the time it released plaintiff Jane Doe to Gladney's custody."

The claims against Jackson County included failure of its duty to provide timely treatment to Jane Doe's mental and physical injuries she suffered at the hand of Gladney, causing her to "needlessly suffer nearly 16 hours of mental anguish."

In the end, Jackson County avoided liability, with the $91,666 settlement split between CCA and Bay County, with the former paying $25,000, and the latter $66,666. Robert T. Bleach, of the Soloway Law Firm in Pensacola represented Jane Doe in the case. See: Doe v. Board of County Commissioners of Jackson County, No. 05-509-CA (Jackson Co. Cir. Ct.). (case later transferred to Bay County Circuit Court, Case No. 09-1312-CA.).


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Related legal case

Doe v. Board of County Commissioners of Jackson County