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Rafferty v. Trumbull County

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

February 15, 2019

Michele L. Rafferty, Plaintiff,
v.
Trumbull County, Ohio, et al., Defendants, Katie L. Sherman, Plaintiff-Appellee, Charles E. Drennen, individually and in his professional capacity, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued: December 4, 2018

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Youngstown. No. 4:16-cv-00430-Benita Y. Pearson, District Judge.

         ARGUED:

          Angelica M. Jarmusz, FISHEL HASS KIM ALBRECHT DOWNEY, LLP, New Albany, Ohio, for Appellant.

          Angelica M. Jarmusz, Daniel T. Downey, FISHEL HASS KIM ALBRECHT DOWNEY, LLP, New Albany, Ohio, for Appellant.

         ON BRIEF:

          Sarah Thomas Kovoor, Warren, Ohio, for Appellee.

          Sarah Thomas Kovoor, Warren, Ohio, for Appellee.

          Lauren M. Weinstein, MOLOLAMKEN LLP, Washington, D.C., Jay R. Schweikert, CATO INSTITUTE, Washington, D.C., for Amici Curiae.

          Before: CLAY, McKEAGUE, and BUSH, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          CLAY, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Defendant Charles Drennen appeals the decision of the district court denying him summary judgment on Plaintiff Katie Sherman's Eighth Amendment claim brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the reasons stated below, this Court AFFIRMS the district court.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual History

         Sherman was incarcerated at the Trumbull County Jail from November 18, 2013 to April 30, 2014. During Sherman's incarceration, Drennen worked at the Trumbull County Jail as a corrections officer. Drennen was regularly assigned to patrol the pod where Sherman lived with Michele Rafferty, another female inmate.

         Between February 1, 2014 and Sherman's release on April 30, 2014, Drennen demanded that Sherman expose her breasts for him to view on three or four occasions. Sherman complied with Drennen's demands. On one or two occasions, Sherman masturbated in Drennen's presence "because he asked for it." (Sherman Dep., R. 102 at PageID #705.)

         Sherman does not allege that Drennen ever touched her. And Drennen never explicitly threatened Sherman. But Sherman was deeply disturbed by Drennen's demands. As a result of Drennen's abuse, Sherman's post-traumatic stress ...


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