The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

September 27, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court to hear federal inmate's claim he was forced to perform sex act

LEWISBURG —Appeals court judges dismissed a USP Lewisburg’s inmate’s lawsuit claiming he was forced to perform oral sex on a guard on a legal technicality.

The  U.S. Supreme Court will now determine whether the appeals courts ought to have explored the matter further before dismissing the inmate’s lawsuit.

According to court documents, the penitentiary’s internal probe of the incident determined that the allegations were unsubstantiated. But all documents explaining how the Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Department of Justice reached that conclusion remain sealed.

The lawsuit filed by Kim Millbrook is one of two inmate lawsuits accepted by the Supreme Court this week.

The Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary inmate whose hand-written appeal has been accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court has a civil suit pending in the U.S. Middle District in Scranton also alleging sexual assault.

Millbrook claims in his latest suit against officials at the maximum-security prison that after being assaulted by another inmate on May 12, 2011, a paramedic during a strip search pulled his penis causing extreme pain.

The suit states he was in hand restraints and being held by a guard when the alleged incident occurred. The complaint also claims he was threatened him if he did not keep his mouth shut and then was locked naked in a shower.

Millbrook is seeking $1 million each in compensatory and punitive damages plus $2 million emotional damages. Like the appeal before the Supreme Court, this one is hand-written.

The Supreme Court Tuesday accepted his appeal in the earlier case but said its consideration will be limited to the issue of when the government can be sued for claims of abuses by federal prison guards. The judges note that they plan to debate whether prison guards can be held liable for their actions when they are on the job, but not conducting searches or seizures.

Middle District Senior Judge William J. Nealon stated when he dismissed that complaint, Millbrook’s allegations were troubling but his claims were precluded by the Federal Tort Claims Act. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed him in April.

In that suit, Millbrook alleged on May 5, 2010, he was taken to the basement of the special management unit and forced to perform a sex act on a guard while another held his neck and a third stood watch.

Millbrook, 44, was arrested in his home state of Illinois in January 2006. He was convicted on drug, firearms, witness tampering and witness retaliation charges. As a career criminal, he was sentenced to 31 years in prison.

He claims he suffers from a post-traumatic disorder and is bi-polar.

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