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Louisiana Prisoner Beaten by Prison Guards Settles Civil Rights Claim

by Christopher Zoukis

Bryan Demouchet, who was assaulted by multiple prison guards while he was handcuffed during his imprisonment at Rayburn Correctional Center in Louisiana, reached a settlement with those allegedly responsible. The amount agreed upon was undisclosed.

     On February 16, 2007, Demouchet was issued a disciplinary incident report for an aggravated sex offense while at Rayburn. He asserted that he was handcuffed and thrown to the floor by a guard. Sergeant Master Marc Forrest, rather than stop the assault, called for assistance. Several more guards arrived and Demouchet alleged that they began beating him although he was fully restrained. After the multi-guard beating, Demouchet claimed that Lieutenant Aaron Richardson threatened him, punched him in the mouth, kicked him repeatedly, and spit in his face. He also claimed that after he was taken to a holding cell, guards continued to beat him.

     On April 13, 2007, Demouchet filed a pro se civil rights complaint in federal court against Rayburn, as well as a number of wardens and prison guards. He argued that the assaults were violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. He requested $500,000 in punitive damages for emotional distress, medical expenses and legal fees. He also requested that criminal charges be brought against the defendants, that they be terminated from their employment, and that he be assigned protective custody until he could be transferred to a different facility.

On May 8, 2008, all defendants were dismissed from the case except for Forrest, Richardson, and Sergeant Sarah Richardson. The trial began on December 12, 2011, but a settlement was reached before it was completed. Judge Marry Ann Vial Lemmon accepted the settlement and dismissed the case on December 15, 2011.

See: Demouchet v. Rayburn Correctional Center, et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Case No. 2:07-cv-01694-MVL-ALC (Dec. 15, 2011)

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Related legal case

Demouchet v. Rayburn Correctional Center, et al.