United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING RE: MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. NO.
C. Hall United States District Judge.
Eric Breeze Brown (“Brown”) brings this action
pursuant to section 1983 of title 42 of the United States
Code against the defendants, Correctional Officer Robert Rose
(“Officer Rose”) and Captain Dino Cichetti
(“Captain Cichetti”) of the State of Connecticut
Department of Correction (“DOC”). See
generally Amended Complaint (“Am. Compl.”)
(Doc. No. 31). Brown alleges that Officer Rose sexually
assaulted him when he was an inmate at the Carl Robinson
Correctional Institution, and that Captain Cichetti failed to
adequately investigate the incident. Id. at
¶¶ 1, 47. Brown sues both defendants in their
individual capacities for money damages for violating his
rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the
United States Constitution. Id. at ¶¶ 30,
47. In addition, Brown brings several state law claims
against Officer Rose for battery, assault, and infliction of
emotional distress. Id. at ¶¶ 32-46.
Rose and Captain Cichetti now move for summary judgment.
See generally Motion for Summary Judgment
(“Defs.' Mot.”) (Doc No. 60). They argue,
inter alia, that (1) Brown failed to properly
exhaust his administrative remedies; (2) Officer Rose did not
sexually assault Brown, but instead conducted a lawful
pat-down search; and (3) both Officer Brown and Captain
Cichetti are entitled to qualified immunity. See
generally Defendants' Memorandum of Law in
Support of Their Motion for Summary Judgment
(“Defs.' Mem.”) (Doc. No. 60-1).
following reasons, the defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. No. 60) is granted.
was an inmate at the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution
from March 30, 2011, until February 25, 2015, when he was
transferred to Osborn Correctional Institution.
Defendants' Local Rule 56(a)1 Statement
(“Defs.' L.R. 56(a)1”) (Doc. No. 60-2) at
¶¶ 2, 81; Plaintiff's Local Rule 56(a)2
Statement (“Pl.'s L.R. 56(a)2”) (Doc. No.
64-2) ¶¶ 2, 81. On the morning of February 19,
2015, Brown was working in the kitchen. Defs.' L.R.
56(a)1 at ¶ 16; Pl.'s L.R. 56(a)2 at ¶ 16. That
same morning, Officer Rose was posted at the kitchen door,
where he searched inmates before they left the kitchen area.
Defs.' L.R. 56(a)1 at ¶¶ 16, 42; Pl.'s L.R.
56(a)2 at ¶¶ 16, 42.
approximately 7:10 a.m., Brown was stocking gloves in the
kitchen. Plaintiff's L.R. 56(a)2 Statement of Additional
Facts (“Pl.'s Additional Facts”) (Doc. No.
64-2) at ¶ A. Officer Rose came up behind Brown while he
was crouched down and said in a suggestive tone: “Wow,
do you work out?” Id. at B. Brown responded:
“Can I help you?” Id. Officer Rose
replied in the negative and then left. Id.
approximately 7:30 a.m., Brown joined a line of inmate
workers who were waiting to be searched by Officer Rose
before exiting the kitchen area. Defs.' L.R. 56(a)1 at
¶¶ 42, 43; Pl.'s L.R. 56(a)2 at ¶¶
42, 43. Inmates who left the kitchen were searched in order
to prevent them from transporting contraband. Defs.' L.R.
56(a)1 at ¶ 46; Pl.'s L.R. 56(a)2 at ¶ 46.
Brown was in line to leave the kitchen because he needed to
retrieve sanitizer buckets from the chow hall and bring them
back to the kitchen. Defs.' L.R. 56(a)1 at ¶ 43;
Pl.'s L.R. 56(a)1 at ¶ 43.
Rose claims that he performed a pat-down search of Brown in
accordance with the appropriate prison procedures. Defs.'
L.R. 56(a)1 at ¶¶ 22, 48. Brown states that Officer
Rose did not engage in a routine pat-down search. Additional
Facts at ¶¶ D, E, F. Instead, Officer Rose ordered
Brown to face the wall and then proceeded to sexually assault
Brown by (1) “vigorously massaging Brown's
shoulders”; (2) “pushing Brown up against the
wall”; (3) “kicking Brown's feet
apart”; (4) “continuously and wildly fondling
Brown's chest under Brown's shirt”; (5)
“pulling and bending Brown's leg backwards up into
the air so [Officer] Rose was in a dominating
position”; (6) “grabbing, raising, and squeezing
Brown's buttocks”; and (7) “bringing his
hands around to the front of Brown's groin area and to
the sides of Brown's penis.” Id. at ¶
D. Another DOC Correctional Officer, who was in the kitchen
at the time of the alleged assault, intervened and pulled the
two men apart. Defs.' L.R. 56(a)1 at ¶ 62;
Additional Facts at ¶ H.
states that Officer Rose sexually harassed him again, after
Brown finished his shift in the kitchen at 11 a.m.
Id. at ¶¶ K, L. Specifically, Officer Rose
asked Brown in a suggestive tone: “What, you don't
like the way I feel you up?” Id. at ¶ L.
reported the incident to various DOC employees, including
Captain Cichetti. Defs.' L.R. 56(a)1 at ¶ 69;
Additional Facts at ¶¶ M, N. Brown also submitted
several written complaints to DOC and contacted the
Connecticut State Police. Additional Facts at ¶ O.
February 24, 2015, Brown met with Captain Cichetti and State
Police Trooper Stebbins (“Trooper Stebbins”).
Additional Facts at ¶¶ P, Q. At the meeting, Brown
attempted to tell his story of the sexual assault.
Id. at ¶ Q. However, he was stopped short, told
that “nothing happened, ” and informed that the
State Police would not investigate the matter further.
February 25, 2015, Brown called the State Police again to
report the incident. Defs.' L.R. 56(a)1 at ¶ 73;
Id. at ¶ S. On the same day, Brown met with
Captain Cichetti for a second time. Id. According to
Brown's sworn Affidavit, Captain Cichetti said during
this conversation: (1) “Why are you so
agitated?”; and (2) “Mr. Brown, everybody gets
their ass felt up once in a while.” Id. Later
that day, Brown was transferred to Osborn Correctional
Institution. Defs.' L.R. 56(a)1 at ¶ 81; Pl.'s