Inmate Claims Jailers Encouraged Beating

     FRESNO, Calif. (CN) – Sheriff’s deputies in California’s Central Valley opened a cell door to let inmates join in the beating of an alleged child molester, the man claims in court.
     Carlos Carrasquilla sued Tulare County on May 13, alleging assault and battery, failure to intervene and constitutional violations.
     Carrasquilla, who had no prior criminal record, was arrested by Exeter police in 2014 on a warrant from Los Angeles County stemming from an alleged incident of inappropriate contact with a minor 12 years ago. The accuser was in her late 20’s when she made her claims, the complaint states.
     Carrasquilla, then 54, was booked into Tulare County Jail to await transfer to Los Angeles County.
     Within two days of his jailing, Tulare County sheriff’s officers “began a concerted effort to disclose and to otherwise make it known to the general population of inmates that plaintiff was a ‘child molester,'” the complaint states.
     Carrasquilla claims the deputies posted paperwork stating the charges against him where other inmates could read it and talked about the charges in front of other inmates.
     Deputies did this knowing that such allegations were “tantamount to a free invitation and suggestion to the inmate population to beat, punish, abuse and otherwise subject plaintiff to physical abuse and beatings and the potential of death,” the complaint states.
     The inmates taunted and berated Carrasquilla for being a “child molester,” and on July 20, 2014, two days after he was jailed, 16 inmates attacked him in his 16-man cell, the complaint states.
     “They used fists, feet and hands and whatever else they could in a protracted beating. At one point, the cell door was opened by one or several of the defendant Doe deputies to allow other inmates to join the beating. During the beating, the inmates taunted plaintiff with the documents provided by defendant deputies, calling him a ‘child molester’ and a ‘child rapist,'” according to the complaint.
     The deputies let the beating go on unabated, leaving Carrasquilla with a bloody face from an open, gaping wound to his head, and bloodied eye sockets, he says.
     Carrasquilla says that the deputies knew he was injured but did not call medical aid or provide their own aid. He received minimal medical care for the next three days until he was transferred to the L.A. County Men’s Central Jail, where he had to undergo surgery for facial fractures, the complaint states.
     Tulare County performed a “shoddy and incomplete” investigation of the incident, finding no witnesses and calling the beating a fight, Carrasquilla says. He claims the deputies were never punished.
     As a result of the beating, he suffers from persistent vertigo, impaired vision, and skull misalignment, which all cause him severe emotional and physical pain, he says.
     Carrasquilla seeks $15 million on eight claims, including unlawful use of force, Monell liability, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. His wife seeks damages for loss of consortium.
     They are represented by Hermez Moreno, of Woodland Hills, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nor did Tulare County.
     Carrasquilla is in custody at L.A. County Men’s Central Jail awaiting trial, with bail set at $550,000. His next court date is July 16.

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