SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Corrections has agreed to pay $450,000 to a man who says he was punished and humiliated by prison officials after he reported that his cellmate raped him.
The man’s attorneys announced the settlement of his federal lawsuit Friday.
He was imprisoned for eight months for a minor drug offense and was housed in a cell at the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln with a gang member serving 22 years for armed robbery who had a record of starting prison fights.
The lawsuit says his cellmate raped him several times in August 2011. It alleges prison officials failed to give him proper medical attention, threatened him with more time if he did not withdraw his allegations and forced him to spend the rest of his sentence in segregation.
Even after DNA evidence corroborated the man’s allegations, prison officials refused to rescind his punishment or refer the complaint to law enforcement, his attorneys said in a statement Friday.
Corrections spokeswoman Nicole Wilson says the department takes sexual abuse allegations seriously and has implemented new policies to comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
Officials named in the lawsuit included former warden Alex Dawson and Kevin Standley, the IDOC investigator assigned to look into the rape allegations. An attorney who represented them did not respond to a request for comment.
“Whether in a prison … or anywhere else, any person who reports a sexual assault deserves to be treated with concern and respect,” said Locke Bowman, one of the civil rights attorneys who represented the inmate.