United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge.
Roger Johnson is currently incarcerated at Northern
Correctional Institution. He has filed a complaint pro
se and in forma pauperis under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, alleging violations of his rights under the First,
Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, and the Prison Rape
Elimination Act. Based on my initial review pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, I conclude that the complaint should
proceed and be served on 15 of the 17 named defendants.
following allegations from plaintiff's complaint are
accepted as true for purposes of the Court's initial
review. In August 2014, plaintiff worked in the textile
program in the clothing factory at Osborn Correctional
Institution. On August 4, 2014, defendant Officer Conley and
defendant Supervisor Zawistowski forced an inmate to remove
the privacy partitions that surrounded the toilets used by
inmate workers in the clothing factory. When plaintiff
complained, defendants Conley and Zawistowski made a joke and
laughed at him. Doc. #1 at 6 (¶ 7).
minutes after the partitions were removed, defendant
industries manager Ray Monroe entered the clothing factory.
He explained that the bathroom partitions had been removed
because someone had written negative statements on the
partitions about an inmate named Santana. He indicated that
the partitions would not be returned until the individual who
wrote on them came forward. He cursed at plaintiff and the
other inmates, calling them “a bunch of fucking
animals.” Id. at 6 (¶ 9). He also
threatened to terminate the inmates' jobs if they had a
problem with the situation, stating “you guys don't
have any rights to privacy, you take showers in your boxers
with one another and some of you get butt-naked with one
another.” Id. at 6-7 (¶ 9). One of the
inmates expressed concern about an individual named Mrs.
Reyes-Greaves, who was then on vacation, and whether she
would see the inmates use the toilet when she returned to
work. Defendant Monroe responded that he would have another
officer “black out the window and lock you in while
you're using the bathroom.” Id. at 7
same day, plaintiff sent a written complaint to Commissioner
Dzurenda, stating that he had been sexually harassed,
threatened, and intimidated in the clothing factory.
Commissioner Dzurenda never responded to the complaint.
Id. at 7 (¶ 11).
next two days, plaintiff was forced to use the toilets in the
clothing factory in full view of other inmates and staff. He
claims that he was “prayed [sic] upon by several known
dangerous violent sex offenders” while he was using the
toilet on these days. Id. at 7 (¶ 9).
Defendants Hussain and Beecher, both supervisors, were aware
that the privacy partitions had been removed but took no
action to correct or report the problem. Id. at 6-7
(¶¶ 8, 10).
one month later, on September 7, 2014, plaintiff made a
telephone call to the Prison Rape Elimination Act
(“PREA”) hotline and spoke with defendant David
McNeil, the director of the PREA Investigations Unit for the
State of Connecticut. Plaintiff recounted the partition
incident and reported that he had been sexually harassed,
threatened, and intimidated. Plaintiff believed that the
phone conversation would be kept confidential, but
immediately after the call, defendant McNeil contacted Osborn
and informed defendant Lieutenant Correctional Officer Jamie
Shepard that plaintiff had filed a PREA complaint.
Id. at 7-8 (¶ 12).
Shepard called plaintiff to his office ten minutes after
plaintiff's phone call with McNeil. When plaintiff
arrived, defendants Shepard, Spruil, and Hebert surrounded
plaintiff in a corner of the office. Shepard yelled and
cursed at plaintiff, called him a “little bitch,
” and interrogated him about his conversation with the
PREA unit. Id. at 8 (¶ 13). Plaintiff did not
understand why defendants were questioning him about the PREA
complaint, which he believed was confidential. Because he was
afraid that defendants Shepard, Spruil, and Hebert might harm
him if he refused to answer, plaintiff ultimately explained
why he called the PREA unit. Ibid. The three
defendants then threatened and intimidated plaintiff in an
effort to force him to drop his PREA complaint. Plaintiff
refused to withdraw the complaint. Defendants eventually
permitted plaintiff to leave Shepard's office, but
afterwards they collaborated to cover up his complaint by not
filing a report or conducting any investigation into the
complaint. Id. at 8-9 (¶¶ 14-16).
October 25, 2014, plaintiff attempted to mail legal documents
to the PREA unit. He gave the documents to defendant Mia
Lawrence, a counselor, in a sealed envelope. Defendant
Lawrence destroyed the documents to prevent them from being
mailed. Plaintiff alleges that this was not the first time
defendant Lawrence interfered with his mail: in 2013,
Lawrence threatened to prevent plaintiff from mailing legal
documents to court and was subsequently investigated by the
district administrator. Id. at 9-10 (¶ 17).
March 13, 2015, defendant Hussain removed plaintiff from his
job in the clothing factory and transferred him to a job in
the officer's clothing work shop, because plaintiff was a
“trouble maker.” Id. at 15 (¶ 39).
Plaintiff alleges that Hussain transferred him in retaliation
for plaintiff's earlier complaints of sexual harassment.
2015, plaintiff attempted to file a criminal complaint
against the individuals involved in the sexual harassment and
subsequent cover-up. Because he was concerned that staff
members were interfering with his outgoing mail, he submitted
the complaint by faxing it to the Connecticut State Police.
Id. at 13 (¶ 34).
12, 2015, defendant Captain Luis Colon called plaintiff to
his office. When plaintiff arrived in the office, he was
confronted by Colon, as well as by defendants Correctional
Officer Acus and Lieutenant Brown. Colon threatened plaintiff
and forced him to stand in a corner of the office. Colon
locked the door and refused to let plaintiff leave. When
plaintiff told defendants that he felt threatened and afraid
for his life, Colon laughed at plaintiff and said, “how
about I put your ass in seg[regation], maybe you'll feel
safe there.” Id. at 13 (¶¶ 32-33).
Defendant Acus then showed plaintiff a copy of the criminal
complaint that plaintiff had faxed to the Connecticut State
Police in May 2015. A Connecticut State Police officer had
forwarded plaintiff's complaint to defendant Deputy
Commissioner Monica Rinaldi, who in turn forwarded it to
defendant Warden Maldonado. Warden Maldonado then emailed
Colon and told him to “take care of” the matter.
Id. at 13-14 (¶ 35).
plaintiff's confinement in Colon's office, Acus,
Colon, and Brown threatened plaintiff's life; pushed him
into a wall, causing him to hit his head; and threatened to
remove him from his job and transfer him to another part of
the prison. Id. at 14 (¶ 35). Lieutenant
Ruggeri then entered the office and asked what was going on.
After hearing about plaintiff's criminal complaint,
Lieutenant Ruggeri ...