A convicted child rapist can continue with a lawsuit that accuses Livingston County guards of allowing other inmates to beat him up, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
Shaun Leary of Pinckney sued a jail officer who told inmates in February 2000 that he was charged with raping a 9-year-old girl. He also alleged that officers told him there would be no protection from guards if he was attacked.
Inmates later beat Leary, then 21, severely. He was treated at the hospital for facial fractures and a skull fracture.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Leary's suit can continue against a guard who he says was deliberately indifferent to his safety when he told two inmates what Leary had been charged with. The officer, Scott Stone, had sought governmental immunity.
Leary, 30, is serving a prison term on the rape charges.
Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday with attorneys for Leary and Stone.
The court let stand a lower judge's decision to dismiss Leary's suit against another officer, Denis McGuckin. Judges Jeffrey Sutton and David McKeague said McGuckin's decision to hit Leary on the back of the neck was "rude and unprofessional" but did not hurt or threaten him.
Dissenting Judge Eric Clay said McGuckin's actions constituted excessive force in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Clay described the inmates' attack on Leary, saying a frightened Leary left his cell to call home seeking his family's help getting moved out of the jail.
"While standing by the phone, (Leary) was pulled over a nearby rail from behind ... and choked, punched and kicked by several inmates until unconscious," Clay wrote.
Leary is serving 12 to 40 years in prison after pleading no contest in 2000 to criminal sexual conduct in the first and second degree involving a minor under age 13.
A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for sentencing. ..News Source.. by David Eggert