Texas Jury Rejects Prison Rape Case

Affiliate: ACLU of Texas
October 18, 2005 12:00 am

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WICHITA FALLS, TX — A jury today rejected a civil lawsuit brought by Roderick Keith Johnson, a gay former Texas prisoner who was repeatedly raped and sold as a sex slave by prison gangs. The lawsuit sought damages from six prison officials for ignoring Johnson’s pleas for help and refusing to protect him from repeated sexual assault.

Margaret Winter, Associate Director of the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Johnson, issued the following statement:

“”Today’s jury verdict finding six prison officials not liable for failing to protect Roderick Johnson against rape and sexual abuse at the hands of prison gangs is a great disappointment. However, we feel sure that despite the verdict, this trial has accomplished something very important. It has opened a window into a very dark place and let in some light.””

“”Unfortunately, Roderick Johnson’s case is hardly unique: every day countless prisoners in Texas and around the country are being subjected to the horror of rape and degradation, while prison officials willfully turn a blind eye.”

“We salute Roderick Keith Johnson for his immense courage in bringing this case and seeing it through. We hope that the attention he brought to this issue helps improve conditions for countless others.””

For more information on the case, go to: www.aclu.org/Prisons/Prisons.cfm?ID=19090&c=121

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