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Curtis v. Hardin

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah

June 20, 2017

TORI T. CURTIS PLAINTIFF
v.
DIONNE HARDIN DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Thomas B. Russell, Senior Judge United States District Court.

         Plaintiff Tori T. Curtis filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court on initial review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss some claims and allow others to proceed.

         I.

         Plaintiff, an inmate at the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP), sues the following KSP personnel in their individual and official capacities: Dionne Hardin and James Beavers, identified as Internal Affairs Corrections Officers; Seth T. Mitchell, a sergeant; Derek Roberts, a “Lieutenant PREA Investigator”; William B. Morrison, a “Lieutenant Chair/Adjustment Officer”; Brittany Fraliex, a “Committee Member”; Adam P. Noles, a “Caseworker-Committee Member”; Michael Mitchell, a caseworker; Skylar Grief, the “Deputy Warden of Transfers”; Troy Belt and Jill Roberts, unit administrators; and Randy White, the KSP Warden. He also sues Jonathan Towery, a KSP inmate.

         Plaintiff states that he was sexually assaulted in a restroom by another KSP inmate, Defendant Towery, on December 4, 2016. He alleges that Defendants Beavers, Roberts, and Mitchell were “very unprofessional at not doing a proper investigation on this non-consensual rape act on me . . . .” Plaintiff alleges as follows:

Before this incident took place . . . Towery lived acrossed from my cell. I wrote a letter as a joke “to just get laughs, ” to inmate Towery's neighbor because we always joked. The letter stated “I'll like to have $10.00 dollars and I'll give you beautiful head & give you good pu***. The $10 dollars could be of anything as long as it's not stupid shit.” Towery's neighbor laughed it off and showed it passing it to Towery who read it and I guess never gave it back an never throwing it away, keeping it in his cell, I guess. [] Inmate Jonathan Towery has always told me things like I am pretty, that if he was my man how he'd want this or do that.
So on December 4, 2016 while I was in the gymnasium shooting around with a basketball towards the rim Inmate Towery & another guy that with him called me over towards their area. Towery told me to go into the bathroom over to the last corner stall and to wait on him to come in behind me, I asked him why? He told me he's about to fu** me. I told “No, ” Towery an the guy that was with him told me if I didn't go along doing what inmate Towery wants me to that the - (Towery an the guy along with him also now a third person walked up, ) three of them were going to jump me beating me up. “I was scared” and hoping that they were playing a joke on me, minutes later to find they were serious!

         Plaintiff states that Defendant Towery then raped him in a restroom stall, giving a detailed account of the incident, resulting in rectal bleeding and “stabbing pains coming from my bottom where Towery just forced himself in me at.” Plaintiff states that later that day he “caught a correction officer making his rounds I stopped him an told him what had happened to me, I also told him that I needed protective custody.” Plaintiff reports that he was walked to the segregation unit and then taken to the office of Defendants Hardin and Beavers where a state police officer was also present. He states that they asked him numerous questions and watched surveillance video of Plaintiff and Towery entering the restroom. Plaintiff reports that he was then taken to a hospital “where they did a rape kit on me” and was returned to KSP and placed in protective custody segregation.

         Plaintiff continues as follows:

A few days later I was interviewed by Lieutenant Derek Roberts and Sergeant Seth Mitchell regarding a letter that was found in Jonathan Towery's cell. I didn't write this letter to Jonathan Towery, I wrote to his neighbor as a joke for recreation for laughs. So the only way I can think of how Towery got a hold of this letter is if his neighbor passed it to him either before or after this incident happen in the gymnasium. So this letter that was found in Jonathan Towery cell all of the Defendants I am about to name off is trying to use this note to say that this rape was a consensual act, when the real truth is it was a non-consensual act.

         Plaintiff asserts that Defendants Hardin, Beavers, Roberts, and Mitchell investigated the rape and that they “didn't do a full proper investigation, it was very unprofessional of them to take a letter that was found in Jonathan Towery's cell an once they read it they made this whole rape incident out to seem like I lied, telling me it was consensual act . . . .” Plaintiff maintains that he received two disciplinary charges in connection with this incident, a charge for “Prostitution as defined by KRS 529.010” and a charge for “Inappropriate sexual behavior.” He asserts that the letter does not justify rape “so these four defendants has quickly turned me from victim to suspect, and then convicted me of two different write up's.” Plaintiff argues that these Defendants violated his rights under the Fourth, Eighth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

         Plaintiff further states that on January 5, 2017, he went to his final court hearing regarding the two write-ups. He reports that Defendants Morrison, Fraliex, and Noles were the adjustment committee members who conducted the hearing on his disciplinary charges. He states that he explained the situation described above but that he received “30 days restrictive housing and 90 days Good Time loss” on the charge for prostitution and “15 days restrictive housing” on the charge for inappropriate sexual behavior. Plaintiff maintains, “No matter what a letter said in it because it can never justify rape!! I went asking for help & telling these defendants at this court call hearing the truth only for the truth to be turned around an making me the suspect . . . .” He argues that Defendants Morrison, Fraliex, and Noles violated his Fourth, Eighth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

         Moreover, Plaintiff states that Defendants White, Roberts, Belt, Grief, and Mitchell have also violated his rights. He states as follows:

Each defendant did so by telling me they're putting me in for a transfer. For about 30 days or so I was believeing this until each of them told me that the inmate was transfered who I did have some problems with, they told me that their going to release me back out to general population. These Defendants was releasing me back out to general population where the inmate Jonathan Towery was. Before leaving the segregation unit they made me sign a paper saying that I have no problems with anyone on the yard an want to return out there, they said that if I didn't sign this paper that they'll just make sure that I am just sitting in the segregation unit for a very long time with no pending transfer.
I was scared too death going back out to general population around Towery & his friends plus every one else knowing I came to correctional officers for help. Once I was released back out to the yard Jonathan Towery an a couple of his friends the same friends of his that were buzzing for him - (watching out for c.o.'s) while in the gym that day the rape happen, were tailing close behind. Towery told me that I will be paying him in canteen items once a week & if I couldn't come up with the payment that I better find a way to do so or he was going to beat my face off.

         Plaintiff maintains that after he was raped and asked for protective custody, he should not have been allowed back in the yard in general population. He states, “Also to be allowed back out to the yard while inmate Jonathan Towery is, showing that these defendants don't care about anyone's safety but also will put those they suppose to be responsible for life & safety in jeopardy at risk without even a second thought!!” He argues that Defendants White, Roberts, Belt, Grief, and Mitchell violated his First, Fourth, Eighth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

         Finally, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Towery “pressured me into having non-consensual sex with him by threatening that him an his friends were going to beat my face off if I didn't do what Towery wanted.” He states that Towery anally raped him resulting in bleeding from his anus. He maintains that Defendant Towery violated his First, Fourth, Eighth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

         In an attachment to the complaint, Plaintiff states, “I have a lawsuit against him in court pending. I told him about this but he didn't listen, so by this he able to ‘retaliation against me.'” This appears to be in response to a question number 2, but the Court cannot determine what question this statement attempts to answer or to whom Plaintiff is referring.

         As relief, Plaintiff requests the Court to “issue conflicts against me & all of these defendants to prevent retaliation. So I am ask for transfer. Asking that my 90 days good time days that was taken behind these two write up's are restored to me.” He also seeks compensatory and ...


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