United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Vanessa L. Bryant United States District Judge.
Jayevon Blaine, currently incarcerated at the Garner
Correctional Institution in Newtown, has filed a Complaint
pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2000). The
Complaint was received on August 8, 2016, and
Plaintiff’s Application to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis was granted on August 15, 2016. Plaintiff names
as defendants Correctional Officer Hancock and three John Doe
officers in their individual capacities
(“Defendants”). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
humiliated him during a strip search.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A (2000), the court must review a
prisoner civil complaint and dismiss any portion that is
frivolous or malicious, that fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id.
Although detailed allegations are not required, the complaint
must include sufficient facts to afford the defendants fair
notice of the claims and the grounds upon which they are
based, and demonstrate a right to relief. Bell Atlantic
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). Conclusory
allegations are not sufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
570. Nevertheless, it is well-established that “pro se
complaints ‘must be construed liberally and interpreted
to raise the strongest arguments that they
suggest.’” Sykes v. Bank of Am., 723
F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Triestman v. Fed.
Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006));
see also Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02
(2d Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules of solicitude for
pro se litigants); Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d
636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007).
April 25, 2016, while confined at Garner Correctional
Institution as a sentenced prisoner, Plaintiff was escorted
to his housing unit by male correctional officers. Doc. #1,
¶ 4. While he was on his knees, defendants strip
searched plaintiff in his cell. A body cavity check was done
as part of the search. Doc. #1, ¶ 5. Plaintiff was
completely naked with his genitals and buttocks exposed. Doc.
#1, ¶ 6. During the search, defendants Hancock and Does
made no attempt to stop forcing plaintiff’s chest into
the bunk. Doc. #1, ¶ 7. As a result of the incident,
plaintiff felt sexually assaulted and humiliated. Doc. #1,
¶¶ 7, 9.
state an Eighth Amendment claim, a prisoner must show that
the alleged conduct is objectively, sufficiently serious and
that the defendant acted with a sufficiently culpable state
of mind, that is, that he acted maliciously and sadistically
to cause harm. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834
(1994). In Boddie v. Schneider, 105 F.3d 857 (2d
Cir. 1997), the Second Circuit acknowledged that, under some
circumstances, sexual abuse of a prisoner by a correctional
office may violate the prisoner’s Eighth Amendment
right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.
Id. at 860-61.
Sexual abuse may violate contemporary standards of decency
and can cause severe physical and psychological harm. For
this reason, there can be no doubt that severe or repetitive
sexual abuse of an inmate by a prison official can be
“objectively, sufficiently serious” enough to
constitute an Eighth Amendment violation. Moreover, like the
rape of an inmate by another inmate, sexual abuse of a
prisoner by a corrections officer has no legitimate
penological purpose, and is “simply not part of the
penalty that criminal offenders pay for their offenses
Id. at 861 (citations omitted). The Second Circuit
recently clarified the holding in Boddie. “A
corrections officer’s intentional contact with an
inmate’s gentialia or other intimate area, which serves
no penological purpose and is undertaken with the intent to
gratify the officer’s desire or to humiliate the
inmate, violates the Eighth Amendment[‘s]”
prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
Crawford v. Cuomo, 796 F.3d 252, 257 (2d Cir. 2015).
alleges that he was strip searched on one occasion. He does
not allege that any Defendant improperly touched his
genitalia or other intimate area. He alleges only that his
chest was pushed against the bunk. He alleges no facts
suggesting that any Defendant acted to gratify his own sexual
desire or from an intent to humiliate Plaintiff.
cases finding a cause of action under Crawford
concern sexual contact with the inmate. See, e.g., Jumpp
v. Terranova, No. 3:16-cv-683(SRU), 2016 WL 2858775, at
*1-2 (D. Conn. May 16, 2016) (guard slapping inmate’s
buttocks and grabbing his penis with no evidence of
legitimate penological purpose); Goins v. Wosneack,
No. 6:15-cv-6234 EAW, 2016 WL 1271701, at *5 (W.D.N.Y. Mar.
30, 2016) (guard pressed aroused penis against buttocks of
female inmate for his own sexual gratification). Plaintiff
alleges that Defendants pushed his chest into the bunk during
a strip search. He alleges no facts suggesting any improper
touching. The fact that Plaintiff felt humiliated, without
more, does not rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment
Complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). Plaintiff may file an amended
complaint within 35 days of August 17, 2016, the date of the
Initial Review ...