United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
Bond Arterton, U.S.D.J.
Ezckholm Jacques ("Plaintiff) files this lawsuit against
Correctional Officer Williams ("Defendant"),
claiming that Defendant sexually assaulted him while
Plaintiff was housed at the New Haven County Correctional
Center on December 23, 2010. The Court has construed
Plaintiffs action as bringing Eighth Amendment claims for
excessive force and deliberate indifference, as well as state
law claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress,
assault, and battery. Defendant now moves for summary
judgment (Mot. Summ. J. [Doc. # 49]), arguing that Plaintiff
lacks any record evidence that could establish that Defendant
was correctly identified as Plaintiffs assailant.
December 23, 2010, Plaintiff assaulted a Connecticut
Department of Corrections ("DOC") officer at the
New Haven Corrections Center ("New Haven CC") in
the throes of a manic episode. (Parties' L.R. Stmts.
[Doc. ## 49-2, 56] ¶ 1; Compl. [Doc. # 1] ¶ 1.)
This incident began at the beginning of the prison's
second shift of the day, either around or shortly before 4:11
p.m. (L.R. Stmts. ¶ 3.) Plaintiff resisted DOC staffs
efforts to secure him, resulting in Plaintiff being forcibly
removed from the housing unit and taken first to the Foxtrot
Housing Unit dayroom, then to the Medical Unit, and then to a
different DOC facility-Northern Correctional Institute.
(Id. ¶¶ 4-5; Attach. 1 (Incident Report)
to Ex. 2 to Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. [Doc. #49-1]
at 3.) The Connecticut state police charged Plaintiff with
assault on a public safety officer, breach of the peace,
interfering with a police officer, and failure to submit to
fingerprinting; Plaintiff pled guilty to Assault of Public
Safety personnel and received a prison sentence of three
years and five years of special parole. (L.R. Stmts.
March 7, 2012, New Haven CC received an "administrative
remedy form" filed by Plaintiff alleging that New Haven
CC staff had sexually assaulted him during the Incident.
(Id. ¶ 8.) DOC authorized a Security Division
investigation, which concluded that Plaintiffs allegations of
sexual assault were unfounded. (Id. ¶ 9.)
Williams was assigned to the New Haven CC from December 1999
to June 2017 and, at the time of the Incident, as a
correctional officer working the first shift. (Id.
¶¶ 12-13.) The first shift hours are from 7:45 a.m.
to 4:00 p.m. (Id. ¶ 14.) The second shift
officers have roll call at 3:45 pm and relieve the first
shift staff at some point between 3:50 and 4:00, depending on
how long roll call takes. (Id. ¶ 15.) A
correctional officer who stayed at work for more than
one-to-two minutes after the end of his shift could put in
for overtime in 15-minute increments. (Id. ¶
17.) Defendant worked the first shift on the day of the
Incident, and Defendant did not seek any overtime on the day
of the Incident. (Id. ¶¶
avers that during the Incident, the corrections staff
escorted him to the Foxtrot Housing Unit Dayroom. (Ex. 1
(Affidavit of Ezchholm Jacques) to Mem. Opp'n Mot. Summ.
J. [Doc. # 55-1] ¶ 7.) While in the dayroom, Plaintiff
states that the staff placed a kitchen hat over his head to
prevent him from spitting on them, even though Plaintiff
denied that he had been spitting. (Id. ¶ 8.)
Plaintiff further avers that an officer turned a hand-held
video camera on, stated for the recording that the officer
was signing on, and asked Plaintiff to state his name and
inmate number for the camera, which he did. (Id.
¶ 9.) At no time contemporaneously did the correctional
officer say that he was unable to record for any reason, and
Plaintiff believed that he continued to video record the
events as they unfolded. (Id.)
the video was running, Plaintiff claims that he was asked by
the corrections officer in charge what happened in the cell
block, and that Plaintiff replied that he did not know what
happened. (Id. ¶ 10.) Plaintiff maintains that
he then heard snickering from the corrections officers behind
him and the sound of zippers unzipping. (Id.
¶¶ 11-12.) Plaintiff looked to his right and
saw a black man's penis, which he deduced to be
Defendant's because Defendant was the only black officer
that Plaintiff saw in the room at the time. (Id.
¶ 12.) Plaintiff alleges that he felt something hitting
his back and screamed for Defendant to "get [his] penis
off [Plaintiffs] back." (Id. ¶ 13.)
states that the officer in charge then ordered:
"[Plaintiffs] not being compliant, spray him boys[,
]" and an officer then sprayed Plaintiff with what
Plaintiff believed to be a lemon-scented cleaner, based on
the smell of the substance and the fact that it sounded as if
it was sprayed from a spray pump bottle, as opposed to the
aerosol can from which mace would have been sprayed.
(Id. ¶¶ 14-15.) Plaintiff asserts that the
officers then jumped on him and he lost consciousness, later
waking in four point restraints in a bed in the medical unit.
(Id. ¶ 16.)
has reviewed the video recordings of portions of the incident
that were made available to him and used in the creation of
the incident report, and explains that "[t]he beginning
of the incident, where I was sexually assaulted and sprayed
with lemon scented cleaner, is not included on the video
provided." (Id. ¶ 19.) "At the
beginning of the video, a Corrections Officer is heard on the
audio of the video saying 'Officer Tracey, resigning on,
4:20, December 23, 2010, Bravo Unit, sorry Foxtrot center day
room.'" (Id.) Officer Tracey "does not
say my name or inmate number on the audio of the video
recording." (Id.) At oral argument, Defendant
did not dispute Plaintiffs characterization of this portion
of the video.
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment