Beaten in Arpaio's Jail
PHOENIX (CN) - A man was beaten in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's poorly run jail after being put there based on a police detective's false testimony, he claims in court.
Adam Serano-Coombs sued Maricopa County and Sheriff Arpaio and Phoenix and police Det. William Miller, in Maricopa County Court.
Arpaio has been sued more than 200 times in the past 3 years, according to the CNS database.
Serano-Coombs claims he was jailed after Miller fabricated testimony to a grand jury to get him indicted on charges of sexual assault and kidnapping.
Serano-Coombs claims in the lawsuit that Miller testified to the grand jury about a recorded telephone interview he had with a witness who allegedly was present when the crimes happened, 12 years before the grand jury proceedings.
Miller falsely attributed statements to the witness, and "intentionally and with malice fabricated this testimony in order to secure an indictment that he knew, or should have known, was false and which would result in plaintiff Coombs being incarcerated without bond," according to the complaint.
Coombs claims Maricopa County Deputy Attorneys Jon Wendell and Kareen O'Brien presented Miller's false testimony, and failed to "take steps to correct the testimony or the resulting indictment."
The prosecutors are not named as defendants.
As a result of the indictment, Coombs was booked into jail on Jan. 23, 2013 without bond, "as the sexual assault charges are non-bondable under Arizona law," the lawsuit states.
While jailed through April 2013, Coombs says, he was "assaulted on multiple occasions as a direct and proximate result of improper security and custodial protection by detention officers operating under the direction of defendant Arpaio." Coombs says he "suffered severe emotional trauma from having been wrongfully incarcerated, knowing that detention officers would not take reasonable steps to protect him."
Because of his incarceration, Coombs says, his "painting business dissolved, and his wife and five children were forced to move out of their rental home and leave all of their personal belongings behind as they could not afford to move or store them. The family was left destitute and homeless."
Coombs seeks at least $1 million in compensatory damages for malicious prosecution and civil rights violations. He is represented by Lynn Hamilton of Mesa.