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Tue Jun 4, 2019, 05:01 PM

Attorney: Feds Owe More Than $750K for Shocking Assault on Gay Prisoner

The federal government has agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by Alec Arapahoe, a former Colorado inmate who says he was brutally assaulted and raped over a three-day period by a fellow prisoner placed in his cell despite previously threatening him because he's gay.

That's a significant sum but attorney David Lane, who represents Arapahoe, sees it as wholly inadequate. He blasts the Colorado damage cap on complaints filed under tort law that pertain to civil claims of pain and suffering, arguing that Arapahoe would have received "in the multi-millions of dollars" for what was done to him without this limitation. And while more than twenty prison guards were disciplined for assorted infractions related to the abuse that took place, he believes some or all of them should be prosecuted criminally in part because of his theory that housing Arapahoe and his tormentor together was "a setup."

We first reported about Arapahoe in January 2013, when, at age twenty, he was accused of tasing his grandmother and great aunt in Longmont. In May of the following year, as reported by the Washington Post, he was imprisoned at FCI (Federal Correctional Institution) Florence after entering a guilty plea for driving a stolen car across state lines. The length of his sentence: nine months.

That August, according to Lane, who spoke to us about the case in January, when the temporary government shutdown threatened to delay the matter, Arapahoe "was chased off the yard by some gangbangers. They said, 'You're gay. We don't let gays on the yard.'" Shortly thereafter, he "ended up checking into protective custody" at another nearby facility, USP [United States Penitentiary] Florence. "At that point, he had no freedom to move about anywhere. He was locked down, but at least he was safe."

Read more: https://www.westword.com/news/attorney-feds-owe-more-than-750k-for-shocking-assault-on-gay-prisoner-alec-arapahoe-11353102

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