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  • Jurydoctor@aol.com
    In Sgt. Smith pled guilty to sexual misconduct through intimidation. I guess I m missing the part about the actual law suit. I m assuming Jane Doe is
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2007
      In Sgt. Smith pled guilty to sexual misconduct through intimidation. >>>>

      I guess I'm missing the part about the actual law suit. I'm assuming Jane
      Doe is suing the state for damages based on her mental health problems after
      being raped (more than once) by a guard in prison? Smith pled guilty to raping
      her, and now the state is saying "well, she was screwed up before he raped her,
      so it's not our problem".

      Does that sum it up?


      The defense would never expressly say that in a trial, but they would try to
      bring in the prior abuse so that the jury could make the inference on its
      own. If the Plaintiff couldn't keep prior pain out as irrelevant to present pain,
      the answer for the Plaintiff would be to alert the jury to the prior pain,
      and distinguish it, so that when Defendant brought it up it wouldn't be as
      Very interesting case. Some comments.

      (1) You end by saying the taxpayers will foot the bill for any damages
      awarded Jane. This, actually goes without saying. Taxpayers ALWAYS foot
      the bill when government entities lose lawsuits. This should have no
      effect on jury decision or awards.

      (2) There is evidently no doubt that Jane was indeed assaulted in prison
      by the Sgt. and that the State is liable for damages. The state:

      (a) Is definitely responsible for the actions of the Sgt and the prison
      personnel that failed to report the Sgt.
      (b) failed to provide adequate protection from other inmates who beat
      her because she had made proper complaints about the Sgt's sexual
      misconduct. It failed to provide proper protection to such an extent
      that she had to ask to be housed in solitary confinement.

      (3) The only question is how much should she be awarded.

      Here it gets dicey. Regardless of what the plaintiff is trying to say, I
      find it hard to believe that the abuse by her stepfather and the fact her
      mother was a prostitute and her father a pimp do not contribute to her
      acute depression. This may very well have contributed to her alcohol and
      substance abuse and certainly her choice of abusive boyfriend. Do not
      the substance abuse and crimes of dishonesty indicate psychological
      problems caused by her upbringing (or lack thereof)?

      Certainly, however, what she went through in prison was very severe,
      especially when she was there for charges of theft and fraud, not
      violence. If I were plaintiff I would argue that before the abuse in
      prison she might have been able to go through successful counseling /
      treatment but now successful treatment and complete enjoyment of life is
      almost impossible.

      I can't put a dollar amount on the ability to fall in love, have intimacy
      or be happy. I just wouldn't know how to do it. Besides the fact I
      wouldn't know how much her treatment by family and boyfriends before
      prison contributed to her mental condition.

      <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<......................would you award over 1

      But the State should be punished, in my opinion, and the only way to do
      that is by punitive damages. A couple of million for a ruined life? As
      a juror I'd probably say yes. Let the State overhaul its system or let
      go bankrupt.
      I agree that Jane was somehow damaged by her prison rape but she was damaged
      before. I'm not in favor of taxpayers footing all the bill for her
      depression. If the taxpayer must pay (and pay they must since it's been
      clear she has been raped by an official), then let it be a reasonable
      amount. Not in the millions of $, but something, maybe, like $50,000.

      By the way, has Sgt Smith been fired? In any case, some money ought to be
      taken out of his paychecks by the State as a re-payment of the debt. He
      ought to be made responsible.

      <<<<<<<<<<<<<-----------......................you make an excellent point,
      unfortunately because he is an employee of the state, the state
      I will try and find out if smith has been

      I have mixed feelings. I am completely distrustful of the diagnosis as I
      have worked psychiatric abuse cases and feel that most psychiatrists will
      keep a patient in "treatment," which often consists of drugging them and
      little else, because it is financially to their advantage, rather than for
      the good of the patient. I have also seen patients implanted or coached to
      appear to have conditions, memories, feelings, etc. that are not really
      their own.

      That said, I also know that sexual assaults of this nature are not all that
      unusual, and the good old boy network is at its best in military, police and
      jail/prison environments. I have seen this happen in hospitals with mental
      patients as well, where, like a prisoner, the victim has no way to report,
      and will not be believed in any case. I find this sort of assault to be of
      the worst kind. I find it credible that she would have survived reasonably
      well her earlier experiences, although she seems to have self medicated,
      which could relate to her earlier abuses, as well as her entire environment
      and upbringing. It also makes perfect sense that the subsequent beatings,
      as well as prolonged isolation with nothing to do but brood, would
      exacerbate the effects of the assaults. What she experienced at the hands
      of Smith (and I think that those who know and looked away are very much to
      blame as well) was far worse than what had gone before, and understandably
      more traumatic.

      I would definitely find in her favor. I don't have enough information to
      tell you how much she should be awarded. I'd love to see Smith (Barlow?)
      face criminal charges for this one. My only concern is that the
      psychiatrist is now giving her drugs to replace the alchohol, but not
      remedying her real problems. He's in a position to profit as much as she
      is, any has every incentive to keep her drugged and on the books forever,
      with the state paying the way. This could very well be victimizing Jane yet
      again. I am also concerned that whatever award she gets could actually harm
      her, as she is unlikely to handle money well, and could get into more
      trouble with it than without it unless she is given help in managing it.
      I'd love to think that she could buy her way into a better life, but we've
      all seen what happens to lottery winners.

      I gotta say it: Conduct like this makes me absolutely sick! "Due to
      the nature of his rank and job, Sgt. Smith was given a wide latitude
      to move about throughout the prison…" Red flag, and a big one. It
      would be interesting (tho not relevant to the matter here) to know
      if Smith has ever had any sort of psych eval done, and the results
      thereof. Jane Doe might well be a "twisted sister" of sorts, but
      this Neanderthal is worse!

      "Sgt. Smith took Jane Doe to an isolated building where 2 other
      correctional officers stood guard while he sexually assaulted her.
      Jane Doe was afraid to scream or protest for fear of retribution."
      Ugh… Are the other two subject to any charges? (irrelevant here but
      curiosity begs the question.)

      If I count correctly Smith perp'd assaults on Jane Doe four
      different times. Accordingly, I would assess fair compensation to
      her of an amount not less than $20 million dollars, nor more than
      $50 million dollars.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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