A mildly mentally handicapped 17-year-old East Baton Rouge Parish Prison inmate was "served up like a sacrificial lamb" when he was put in a two-man cell early last year and raped by a man jailed on a rape charge, a federal lawsuit alleged Monday.
The younger inmate was infected with HIV because of the assault, the suit claims. He had been segregated from the general prison population in the juvenile wing for more than a year while awaiting trial on a burglary charge, the lawsuit says, but was transferred in early February to the general population where all adult offenders and pretrial detainees are held.
The teenager was considered a high-risk sexual victim under the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act because of his age, size and mental makeup, the suit states, while Girbaud Eisley, on the other hand, was awaiting trial in the rape, battery and robbery of a woman at a Baton Rouge casino and was categorized as a high-risk sexual predator under the federal act.
"The Warden knew or should have known, based on his position and training, that Eisley was a sexual predator, and was therefore a heightened threat of sexually assaulting vulnerable inmates, like a young, underweight slightly mentally handicapped 17-year-old teenager …," lawyer Joseph Long, who represents the younger inmate, charges in the suit.
Thomas was "served up like a sacrificial lamb directly to Eisley in a locked two-man cell," the suit contends.
"The results were predictable and catastrophic," Long states in the suit, filed in Baton Rouge federal court.
Eisley, within the first week of being housed with the teenager, approached the sleeping teen, put him in a chokehold and raped him, the suit alleges.
The teen's rape was confirmed at a local hospital and Eisley's DNA was found, according to the suit. The teen tested positive in December for the HIV virus, the suit says.
The suit claims East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux and Parish Prison Warden Lt. Col. Dennis Grimes knew or should have known that Eisley, a known high-risk sexual predator, was HIV positive, "yet allowed him to roam freely in general population rather than safeguarding the other inmates by putting him into isolation."
"This sexual predator, armed with a deadly disease, was at high risk not only of raping other inmates, but infecting them with HIV," Long claims in the suit. "He should have been put in isolation to protect the other inmates."
"The deprivations of (the teen's) rights constitute a risk of harm so grave that it violated contemporary standards of decency," the suit alleges.
Long said Monday the suit speaks for itself but noted that he also represents the woman allegedly raped by Eisley at a local casino in 2015.
The Advocate does not identify victims of rape and other sexual crimes. In addition, Long said he did not want his client's name published.
Messages left for the Sheriff's Office and their attorneys were not immediately returned. The Sheriff's Office typically does not comment on pending litigation.
The suit, which seeks monetary damages, was assigned to U.S. District Judge John deGravelles.