Civil Case Law - Seventh Circuit

Riccardo v. Rausch, 375 F.3d 521 (7th Cir. 2004): A male inmate relayed his fears of violence from his cellmate to correctional officers.  Two days later, cellmate sexually assaulted him. The court held that the correctional officer did not deliberately disregard a substantial risk of serious harm, because the harm that the inmate sought protection from did not occur.

Calhoun v. Detalla, 319 F.3d 936 (7th Cir. 2003):  Male correctional officers conducted a strip search of a male inmate in front of female correctional officers.  Both the male and female officers laughed at the inmate, made sexual comments, forced him to perform provocative acts, and pointed towards his buttocks with their sticks.  The court found this was sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim, as the search was designed to humiliate the inmate. 

Jackson v. Raemisch , 2010 WL 3062971 (W.D. Wis. Jul. 30, 2010):  A male inmate claimed male correctional officers sexually harassed him during a strip search, by fondling and grabbing his buttocks and penis, and laughing and making comments throughout.  The court found this was sufficiently demeaning to equate to an Eighth Amendment claim.

Surratt v. Walker , 2011 WL 1231312 (C.D. Ill. Mar. 29, 2011): A female inmate was raped by a male correctional officer. The court found that two prior unsubstantiated sexual assault inquiries coupled with general knowledge of sexual assaults was not sufficient to put prison officials on notice of a substantial risk of serious harm to the female inmate.

B v. Duff , 2009 WL 2147936 (N.D. Ill. Jul. 17, 2009):  Juvenile female detainees were sexually assaulted by a male correctional employee.  The employee eventually pled guilty to two counts of criminal sexual assault for sexual misconduct against one of the minors.  The court found that the warden could not be held liable for the sexual assaults.  The warden was not deliberately indifferent, as the warden was never informed of the assaults, and the juvenile denied assaults were taking place when the warden questioned her

Williams v. Humphrey , 2009 WL 1444160 (W.D. Wis. May 20, 2009): A male inmate had sex with a female correctional officer in exchange for tobacco.  The court found that even if the inmate had consented to the sexual activity, the officer was in a position of power over the inmate, and the sex was therefore coercive. The court denied the motion to dismiss as to the individual officer’s involved.

Hawkins v. St. Clair County , 2009 WL 559373 (S.D. Ill. Mar. 5, 2009):  A female juvenile in a juvenile detention center claimed a male employee touched her genitals and breasts.  Another detainee stated the employee sexually assaulted her on three occasions, fondled her breasts, kissed her and exposed his penis to her.  The employee denied these allegations.  The court denied summary judgment, finding there were material issues of fact as to whether the abuse had occurred.

Tyson v. Bradford , 2009 WL 455138 (S.D. Ill. Feb. 20, 2009):  A male inmate was sexually assaulted and beaten by his cellmate.  The court found the correctional officers could not be held liable, as the inmate had never reported any fear of sexual assault.

Childerson v. Illinois Dept. of Corrections , 2006 WL 2644941 (S.D. Ill. Sept. 14, 2006): Male inmate claimed that a male correctional officer ordered the inmate to remove his clothing and propositioned him for a sexual act.  When the inmate refused, the officer fondled the plaintiff.  The court found this was sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim.

Turner v. Huibregste, 421 F. Supp.2 d 1149 (W.D. Wis. 2006): A male correctional officer grabbed a male inmate’s buttocks and fondled his penis during a pat down search, asking, “what is this?”  The court found that this was sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss, but cautioned that the inmate would have to prove that the officer inappropriately grabbed and fondled his penis, rather than just manipulating his genitals for a standard pat-down search.