United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge.
Kenneth Watson, an inmate in Pontiac Correctional Center
(“Pontiac”), brings this action for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 that allegedly took place at Big Muddy Correctional
Center (“Big Muddy”). According to the Complaint,
Plaintiff was attacked and sexually assaulted by defendant
corrections officers Dodd and McBride, and his efforts at
obtaining medical care and reporting the incident were
prevented or ignored by the other defendants. (Doc. 1). This
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which reads:
(a) Screening - The court shall review, before docketing, if
feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after
docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner
seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the court shall
identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any
portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
action or claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Frivolousness is an
objective standard that refers to a claim that any reasonable
person would find meritless. Lee v. Clinton, 209
F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). An action fails to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The claim of
entitlement to relief must cross “the line between
possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557. At
this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se
complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v.
Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir.
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority
under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff claims he was unjustifiably
attacked by corrections officers McBride and Dodd on July 17,
2016. (Doc. 1, p. 16). According to the Complaint, both Dodd
and McBride beat Plaintiff in the shower, and Dodd grabbed
and squeezed Plaintiff's penis and testicles “very
hard.” Id. Despite his cries for help,
Plaintiff alleges Jackson and Plotts observed this attack
without intervening to assist Plaintiff. Id.
Anderton was also allegedly present during the altercation.
Id. Plaintiff claims Dodd and McBride then dragged
him by a lead cuff to a “chuckhole” where they
forced his wrists through and yanked on his cuffs “with
extreme force” causing the cuffs to cut deep into his
wrists. Id. When Anderton removed the cuffs, Jackson
allegedly told Plaintiff to undress for a strip search.
Id. According to the Complaint, Plaintiff refused
this command because Dodd and McBride, his alleged
assailants, were still present, he “wasn't getting
naked in front of 2 men that just beat [him] and sexually
assaulted [him], ” and he wanted to see a nurse and
to report his sexual assault. (Doc. 1, pp. 16-17). Plaintiff
allegedly complied and removed his clothing after Plotts
threatened him with a “Tact Team” and Dodd and
McBride left the area. (Doc. 1, p. 17).
claims he told Nalley about the alleged sexual assault.
Id. At this point, Plaintiff allegedly requested to
see a nurse and PREA and to be allowed to file a police
report in Nalley's office on Dodd and McBride for the
attack. (Doc. 1, pp. 17-18). Nalley allegedly told Plaintiff
to go to his cell and that he would return for him in a few
minutes. (Doc. 1, p. 18). Plaintiff complied but allegedly
never heard from Nalley again. Id. Plaintiff was
instead visited approximately one hour later by McCain, a
nurse, and Jackson. Id. Plaintiff told them both
about the alleged attack and sexual assault. Id.
McCain told Plaintiff she did not see any injuries, though
Plaintiff alleges she did see injuries, at least deep cuts on
his wrists from the cuffs, and “chose to protect her
co-workers/friends and not document [his] injuries or treat
them.” (Doc. 1, p. 19). Plaintiff further alleges
McCain failed in her duty to report his accusation of sexual
assault against Dodd. Id.
one day of the alleged attack, Plaintiff claims that Aparicio
and Sanders met with him in their office for an Adjustment
Committee hearing on his “ticket.” (Doc. 1, pp.
19-20). Plaintiff allegedly told them everything that had
happened to him, including the sexual assault and all of the
people he told about the events after the fact. Id.
Despite Plaintiff's alleged request to Aparicio and
Sanders to be able to see PREA and file a complaint against
Dodd and McBride, and Aparicio and Sanders telling Plaintiff
someone would come to talk to him about it, this never
occurred, and Aparicio and Sanders allegedly misquoted and
underreported Plaintiff's statements to them in their
Adjustment Committee report. (Doc. 1, p. 20). For example,
their report indicated that Plaintiff refused to uncuff at
one point, when Plaintiff says he never told them he refused
to uncuff, only strip. Id. Plaintiff claims they
misreported his statements to them “in order to make
things fit their (IDOC) agenda and find [him] guilty of
something [he] didn't do.” Id.
warden, having the final say on the report of the Adjustment
Committee, Garnett also allegedly “tried to cover
everything up and make [Plaintiff] ¶ 6 months for some .
. . tickets” to protect Dodd and McBride, despite the
fact that Plaintiff's allegations of sexual assault were
included on the report. (Doc. 1, p. 21). Plaintiff also filed
three grievances and submitted several requests at Big Muddy
to Healthcare, PREA, mental health, and the warden's
office, which went unanswered. (Doc. 1, p. 22). The ARB also
allegedly denied Plaintiff's grievances, without a proper
investigation, despite his well-documented allegation of
sexual assault. (Doc.1, pp. 22-23). Instead, Plaintiff claims
they “altered [his] words and made [Plaintiff] look
like [he] said things [he] didn't to fit a certain agenda
which is to protect an officer.” (Doc. 1, p. 23).
Plaintiff allegedly was not seen by PREA until September 14,
2016, when he was in Pontiac. (Doc. 1, p. 24). Plaintiff
claims that, had the PREA Mandate been followed when he was
at Big Muddy, the bruising on his penis, testicles, and chest
and the cuts on his wrists from the alleged attack would have
been more visible, and his claims “could have been
substantiated more clearly.” Id. Plaintiff
seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief in the form of a
transfer to Graham Correctional Center and placement in a
Correctional Industry Job for the rest of his sentence, a
body camera to be worn by IDOC employees at all times, each
defendant to be fired, and criminal charges to be filed,
presumably against his alleged attackers. (Doc. 1, p. 34).
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
six counts. The parties and the Court will use these
designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless
otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court.
Count 1 - Plaintiff was subjected to excessive force in
violation of the Eighth Amendment when he was unjustifiably
attacked by Dodd and McBride on July 17, 2016.
Count 2 - Anderton, Jackson, and Plotts failed to intervene
and protect Plaintiff by failing to put an end to the
excessive force used against Plaintiff by Dodd and McBride on
July 17, 2016.
Count 3 - Defendants were deliberately indifferent to
Plaintiff's medical needs by failing to treat and/or
failing to ensure treatment of the cuts on his wrist, his
stomach pain, and the bruising on his penis, testicles, and
chest after he sustained these injuries while being attacked
on July 17, 2016.
Count 4 - Plaintiff was subjected to retaliation in the form
of a transfer to Pontiac, Plaintiff being found guilty for
“bogus” tickets, and Plaintiff having to do
“seg time” ...