Monday, January 06, 2014

A Claim of Sexual Abuse of Prisoner Requires Showing of Coercion

Graham v. Sheriff of Logan County, 2013 WL 6698128 (12/20/13) (Okl.) (Published) - Although the 10th recognizes the need to carefully examine an inmate's consent to sex with a guard, this case didn't present a factual issue with respect to the inmate's consent because it was obvious the inmate wanted to have sex with two guards at the same time. This was so even though one of the guards gave the inmate a candy bar and a blanket, in light of the inmate's invitations to have sex. Although some circuits have indicated consent would not be a defense, the 10th holds that sexual abuse of prisoners is a species of an excessive-force claim requiring at least some coercion, not necessarily physical, by the prisoner's custodian. The 10th did note that an allegation that one of the guards pushed the inmate's head down just before the encounter ended might have justified relief, but that wasn't mentioned in the argument part of the inmate's brief.