Johnson v. Johnson Case Profile

April 4, 2005

Roderick
After months of sexual torture in a Texas prison with
the full knowledge of administrators, Roderick Johnson 
sued officials for not protecting him.

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When Roderick Johnson was housed at the James A. Allred Unit in Iowa Park, Texas, prison gangs repeatedly raped and abused him as a sexual slave. Although he filed numerous grievances and asked to be transferred, prison officials refused and told him to "fight or fuck." Only when the ACLU intervened did prison officials move Johnson to a safe wing of the prison. The ACLU filed a lawsuit in which a unanimous federal appeals court ruled that seven ranking Texas prison officials can be sued due to discrimination based on sexual orientation--a landmark, first-of-its-kind ruling. The decision cleared the way for Johnson, who has served his sentence, to sue for damages and seek justice under the Eighth Amendment's protection against cruel and unusual punishment, as well as the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment.

Status: A Texas jury found the prison officials not liable.

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