I sure would not bet that this Sheriff is going to win! If people only realized that they are each paying hundreds of dollars every year to pay for all of the senseless abuse and the litigation, because the perpetrators so seldom are held accountable!
Excerpts from the Article:
Sheriff Marlin Gusman is suing The New York Times, claiming a video it published about a man who said he had been raped at a Louisiana jail incorrectly suggests the assaults took place at Orleans Parish Prison. An attorney for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office filed the lawsuit Friday in New Orleans federal court. (July 13).
Rodney Roussell is also a defendant in the case. He’s the former inmate featured in the video — “The Rape Jokes We Still Laugh At” — that takes issue with the comedic use of sexual assault. Roussell filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging he was repeatedly attacked while held at the Union Parish Detention Center in 2011 and 2013.
The north Louisiana facility was one of about 20 in Louisiana where Roussell was held between 2005 and 2017 while serving time for bank fraud, forgery, monetary instrument abuse and of access device fraud, according to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. The state pays local jails to house some of its inmates. Roussell’s convictions were from Ascension, East Baton Rouge and Lafourche parishes.
Orleans Parish Prison was one of his stops, and footage from the former jail and the current Orleans Justice Center is used in The New York Times video. Although Roussell never says in the video that he was attacked at the New Orleans jail, Gusman’s lawsuit claims the video doesn’t make that distinction. Footage shows Roussell walking near the Templeman Phase V building, part of the now-shuttered portion of the jail complex.
The Op-Ed, published Monday (July 9), is titled, “The rape jokes we still laugh at.”
Arcuri added that the video represents “an intentional and malicious act” to defame the sheriff’s office when it has started to show progress in relation to a federal consent judgment. The decree, issued in 2013, called for extensive changes at the jail in light of widespread inmate violence, prisoner deaths, frequent escapes and inadequate mental health care.
In addition to Roussell and The New York Times, Gusman is also suing the editor, producers and photography director for the video for defamation, libel and trespass. Among the damages the sheriff claims are personal embarrassment and humiliation, the inability to recruit and retain staff, loss of grant and funding opportunities, and increased exposure to litigation.