BUFFALO — Erie County has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on a case involving the rape of a female inmate by a male guard inside a Buffalo jail.
County lawyers have filed a petition asking the nation's highest court to review a federal appeals court ruling holding the county liable for the 2002 attack at the Erie County Holding Center.
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in August found the county had failed to adopt policies to prevent the rape following a 1999 incident in which another female inmate alleged she'd had sexual contact with a guard in exchange for commissary items.
The county's petition argues the policy change would cost billions of dollars by requiring "every government-run school, hospital and mental care facility in New York" to use female employees to supervise women under their protection or male employees to supervise men, The Buffalo News reported.
The case involves a December 2002 incident in which former sheriff's Deputy Marchon Hamilton forced a woman into a bathroom and raped her, according to court documents. Hamilton pleaded guilty to third-degree rape and resigned.
A U.S. magistrate overturned a jury verdict that found the county liable for $500,000. It was reinstated by the appeals court.
— Associated Press
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