Civil Case Law - Eight Circuit

Kahle v. Leonard , 477 F.3d 544 (8th Cir. 2007):  A male correctional officer sexually assaulted female pre-trial detainee on three separate occasions.   The court denied a motion for summary judgment, as a jury could find both the correctional officer and his supervisor liable under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Williams v. Prudden, 67 F.App'x 976 (8th Cir. 2003): A male correctional officer forcibly ground his pelvis against female inmate, grabbed her breast, demanded sexual favors and attempted to force himself upon her.  The court found this repeated conduct was sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim.

Riley v. Olk-Long , 282 F.3d. 592 (8th Cir. 2002): A female inmate was raped by a male correctional officer.  The court found that both the prison warden and director of security were deliberately indifferent to the substantial risk of harm that correctional officer presented to female inmates.  The correctional officer was held personally liable for $20,000, while the warden was liable for $25,000 in punitive damages.

Berryhill v. Schriro, 137 F.3d 1073 (8th Cir. 1998): A male inmate claimed that male correctional officers inappropriately touched his buttocks. The court found this conduct was not sufficient to support an Eighth Amendment violation.

Ware v. Jackson County, Missouri, 150 F.3d 873 (8th Cir. 1998): A female inmate was raped by male correctional officer.  The court found there was sufficient evidence to find prison officials were deliberately indifferent, when investigations of sexual abuses allegations resulted in the recommendation that the offending officer be terminated, but the officer was retained and no additional safety measures were put in place.

Berry v. Oswalt, 143 F.3d 1127 (8th Cir. 1998): A female inmate was raped by a male correctional officer.  A jury found that the officer had violated the inmate’s Eighth Amendment rights and committed the state tort of outrage against her, and awarded her $65,000 in compensatory damages and $15,000 in punitive damages.

Freitas v. Ault, 109 F.3d 1335 (8th Cir. 1997):  A male inmate and female corrections officer entered into a non-coercive relationship.  The court found this was not enough to constitute sexual harassment under the Eighth Amendment.

Seltzer–Bey v. Delo, 66 F.3d 961 (8th Cir. 1995): Male detainee alleged that a male correctional officer conducted daily strip searches, made sexual comments about prisoner's penis and buttocks, and rubbed prisoner's buttocks with his nightstick.  The court found this was enough to state a Fourteenth Amendment claim.

Watson v. Jones, 980 F.2d 1165 (8th Cir. 1992):  Female correctional officer performed almost daily pat-down searches on two male inmates, and examined their genitals, anus, and thigh areas.  The court found this was sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim.

Tracy v. Coover , 797 N.W.2d 621 (Iowa Ct. App. 2011): Female inmate brought suit against a male prison correctional officer, as well as the prison counselor and warden. Although there was a PREA investigation, and the counselor failed to report her sexual assault, the court found that the inmate did not exhaust her remedies and therefore dismissed her claim.

Cotton-Schrichte v. Peate , 2010 WL 5423737 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 23, 2010):  A female inmate was not entitled to summary judgment on her Eighth Amendment claim against a male correctional officer.  The court ruled that as the sexual relationship was non-coercive, there was no constitutional violation. The court also found there was not sufficient evidence to hold the prison administrators liable, despite the fact the correctional officer had received two over-familiarity violations.  Although there were rumors that the officer had sexual interaction with other inmates, there was no evidence these rumors were true.

Coffey v. Foxall , 2010 WL 1254939 (D. Neb. Mar. 25, 2010): Male inmate alleged that male correctional officer touched his genitals and made sexual comments.  The court found this was enough to state an Eighth Amendment claim.  The male inmate further alleged the correctional officer’s supervisors had been aware of the officer’s behavior for twenty years.  The court found this was sufficient for a claim of deliberate indifference against prison officials.

Jones v. Clark , 2010 WL 234958 (E.D. Ark. Jan. 15, 2010): A male inmate could not hold correctional officers liable for failure to protect him from a sexual assault from another inmate, where the inmate had only reported being slapped by another resident.  The court found this single episode was not enough to hold prison officials deliberately indifferent under the Eighth Amendment.

Meyer v. Nava , 518 F. Supp. 2d 1279, 1283 (D. Kan. 2007): Female inmate was sexually assaulted and sodomized by male officer.  The court found the sheriff was not deliberately indifferent, as he properly monitored the jail, and was unaware of an excessive risk of sexual assault.

Tarpley v. Stepps , 2007 WL 844826 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 17, 2007):  Male inmate alleged the male correctional officer squeezed his buttocks twice during pat-down searches.  The court found this conduct was not an Eighth Amendment violation, as it was conducted in a food service area where pat-downs were routinely conducted, other inmates were present, and the touching was not accompanied by sexual comments.

Casazza v. South Dakota , 616 N.W.2d 872 (2000): A female inmate was raped by a male correctional officer, and brought state tort suit against the state, the warden, and the Department of Corrections. The Supreme Court of South Dakota granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on immunity grounds.