Crime Lawsuit settled in which 15 women alleged sexual abuse at Florida prison
Justice Department weighs in on Ashley Diamond lawsuit: Prison officials obligated to protect transgender prisoners from harm
Failure to provide transgender prisoners with a safe environment is cruel and unusual punishment, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.In a statement of interest filed in the case of Ashley Diamond, a Black transgender woman who sued the Georgia Department of Corrections in November, the Justice Department said it's not taking a position on the facts of Diamond's case.
TAMPA BAY, Fla. — The United States has settled a lawsuit with 15 women who said correctional officers at a federal prison in Florida repeatedly sexually abused them.
The lawsuit contended that Bureau of Prisons officers at Federal Correctional Complex Coleman in Sumter County sexually abused female inmates for years and threatened the women if they didn’t comply. The women feared that if they came forward they’d be sent to another federal facility far from their families, interrupting the education and work programs they had at Coleman, the largest federal prison in the U.S.
A Black woman was dragged by her hair out of a car during a traffic stop in North Carolina, lawsuit says
A Black woman was allegedly grabbed by the hair and pulled out of her SUV by North Carolina police during a traffic stop in 2019 after she was driving 10 miles per hour over the speed limit and failed to stop for law enforcement, according to a civil lawsuit filed last week. © Scott Holmes Four law enforcement officers are named in the federal lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for the alleged use of excessive force and unlawful search of the plaintiff's purse and vehicle.
Settlements were approved by the attorney general’s office Monday. Three of the women received $1.32 million between them, said their lawyer, James DeMiles. Bryan Busch, who represented 11 women, and Phil Reizenstein, who represents one woman, said they did not want to comment on the settlement amounts until funds were released.
Six of the eight accused officers admitted to having sexual contact with inmates, according to a July document filed by the United States in response to the complaint. But no officers were prosecuted. They instead retired or resigned, and some still receive benefits from their federal employment.
“I would remain optimistic and hopeful that the powers that be take a hard look at the numerous officers who were named in that indictment,” DeMiles said.
Senators introduce bill to change how military sexual assault cases are prosecuted
A bipartisan group of lawmakers announced a plan to overhaul the way the US military responds to sexual assault cases, arguing it's time to change the way the cases are prosecuted to finally change a pervasive culture within the ranks of the US military. © Pool Lawmakers seen Thursday announcing the new legislation targetting sexual assaults in the military. On Thursday, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and others introduced a new bill aimed at cracking down on sexual assault in the military.
He said he felt the amount given to his clients was fair. Settlements for some of the women, some whom are currently still incarcerated there, were higher than the government had initially allocated to pay. If the case had not settled, it would have gone to trial next year.
Joe Rojas, the southeast regional vice president for the workers union, AFGE Council of Prisons, said the case was a black eye for an otherwise hardworking and upright staff. He said it’s a sentiment other correctional officers share.
“I’m just sad because honestly those officers got away with a crime,” Rojas said.
Lauren Reynolds received $600,000 for her settlement — but she said it wasn’t about the money. Reynolds, a former inmate at Coleman, had hoped to go to trial and help spark prison reform. She said she wanted to hold the Bureau of Prisons accountable for the abuse she and others experienced.
But as settlement conferences dragged on, the effects of her trauma worsened. Reynolds said she was raped by a correctional officer at Coleman for six months while serving time there. As the case slowly made its way through the courts, she said she couldn’t sleep through the night. She began taking medication to try to help.
“This dragging on, it’s like you’re still living it,” Reynolds said. “It’s not the closure I wanted but it’s still closure.”
Scarlett Johansson has a history of stirring up controversy. Here's a timeline of the actor's most divisive moments. .
The 36-year-old "Black Widow" star has been accused of whitewashing and criticized for accepting a role as a transgender man.Best known for her roles in films like "Lost in Translation," "The Avengers," and "Marriage Story," the 36-year-old actor became the highest-grossing female movie star of all time in 2016 and was the highest-paid female actor in both 2018 and 2019, per Forbes.