Stop Prison Rape




 

From the Los Angeles Times

There's nothing funny about prison rape
Smirking at sexual attacks on inmates makes us all less safe.
By Ezra Klein

March 30, 2008

'From the studio that brought you 'Brokeback Mountain,' " intones the preview for the light comedy "Let's Go To Prison," "comes a penetrating look at the American penal system." In case that was too subtle for you, the DVD box features a dropped bar of soap, just waiting for some poor inmate to bend over to pick it up -- and suffer a hilarious sexual assault in the process.

Or maybe you're not feeling up for a movie. It's more of a board-game afternoon. How about picking up "Don't Drop the Soap," a board game created by the son of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas. The game "is simply intended for entertainment," said Nicole Corcoran, the governor's spokeswoman. What, after all, could be more entertaining then trying to "avoid being cornered by the Aryans in the shower room" (one of the goals of the game, according to its promotional material)? 

Here in Washington, however, the weather has been beautiful lately, so if you were bored last week, you might have wanted to do something out of the house. One option would have been going down to the Department of Justice, where, on the third floor, officials were holding hearings on prison rape, interrogating administrators from some of the worst prisons in the nation about the abuses that go on within their walls.

These hearings are held annually. This year's transcripts aren't online yet, but in 2006 you could have heard a man named Clinton explain, "I had no choice but to enter into a relationship with another inmate in my dorm in order to keep the rest of them off of me. In exchange for his protection from other inmates, I had to be with him sexually any time he demanded it. It was so humiliating, and I often cried silently at night in my bed ... but dealing with one is better than having 10 or more men demanding sex from you at any given time." 

Clinton's testimony wasn't very funny, and it wasn't for entertainment. Nor was the 2001 report by Human Rights Watch, "No Escape," which included a letter from an inmate confessing that "I have no more feelings physically. I have been raped by up to five black men and two white men at a time. I've had knifes at my head and throat. I had fought and been beat so hard that I didn't ever think I'd see straight again." 

Prison rape occupies a fairly odd space in our culture. It is, all at once, a cherished source of humor, a tacitly accepted form of punishment and a broadly understood human rights abuse. We pass legislation called the Prison Rape Elimination Act at the same time that we produce films meant to explore the funny side of inmate sexual brutality. 

Occasionally, we even admit that prison rape is a quietly honored part of the punishment structure for criminals. When Enron's Ken Lay was sentenced to jail, for instance, Bill Lockyer, then the attorney general of California, spoke dreamily of his desire "to personally escort Lay to an 8-by-10 cell that he could share with a tattooed dude who says, 'Hi, my name is Spike, honey.' " 

The culture is rife with similar comments. Although it would be unthinkable for the government today to institute corporal punishment in prisons, there is little or no outrage when the government interns prisoners in institutions where their fellow inmates will brutally violate them. We won't touch you, but we can't be held accountable for the behavior of Spike, now can we? 

As our jokes and cultural products show, we can claim no ignorance. We know of the abuses, and we know of the rapes. Research by the University of South Dakota's Cindy Struckman-Johnson found that 20% of prisoners reported being coerced or pressured into sex, and 10% said they were violently raped. In a 2007 survey by the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 60,000 inmates claimed to have been sexually victimized by other inmates during the previous 12 months. Given the stigma around admitting such harms, the true numbers are probably substantially higher. 

But by and large, we seem to find more humor than outrage in these crimes. In part, this simply reflects the nature of our criminal justice system, which has become decreasingly rehabilitative and increasingly retributive. 

In the 1970s, as economist Glenn Loury has written, "the corrections system was commonly seen as a way to prepare offenders to rejoin society. Since then, the focus has shifted from rehabilitation to punishment and stayed there." 

On the campaign trail, Mike Huckabee put it even more pithily. "We lock up a lot of people that we're mad at," he liked to say. "Not the ones we're really afraid of." Criminals aren't sent to prison so they can learn to live outside of prison; they're sent to prison to get what they deserve. And that paves the way for the acceptance of all manners of brutal abuses. It's not that we condone prison rape per se, but it doesn't exactly concern us, and occasionally, as in the comments made by Lockyer, we take a perverse satisfaction in its existence. 

Morally, our tacit acceptance of violence within prisons is grotesque. But it's also counterproductive. Research by economists Jesse Shapiro and Keith Chen suggests that violent prisons make prisoners more violent after they leave. When your choice is between the trauma of hardening yourself so no one will touch you or the trauma of prostituting yourself so you're protected from attack, either path leads away from rehabilitation and psychological adjustment. 

And we, as a society, endure the consequences -- both because it leads ex-cons to commit more crime on the streets and because more of them end up back to jail. A recent report released by the Pew Center on the States revealed that more than one in 100 Americans is now behind bars. California alone spends $8.8 billion a year on its imprisoned population -- a 216% increase over what it paid 20 years ago, even after adjusting for inflation. 

That's money, of course, that can't be spent on schools, on job training, on wage supports and drug treatment. Money, in other words, that can't be spent on all the priorities that keep people out of prison. Money that's spent instead on housing prisoners in a violent, brutal and counterproductive atmosphere. And there's nothing funny about that.

Ezra Klein is an associate editor at the American Prospect. His blog is at  EzraKlein.com .



Friday, October 5, 2007
 

Victim of 'gay' rape fights back

Posted: October 5, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
 


By Jack Cashill

© 2007 
Although much of my new book, "What's the Matter With California," is humorous, this is one story from that book which is not. Steven Nary has spent the last 11 years in prison for daring to defend himself against homosexual rape by an illegal alien in San Francisco. Read "Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 for more background. This is Part 4 of 5 parts featured this week in WorldNetDaily. Parental discretion is strongly advised due to graphic sexual assault descriptions. 

On the drive back to the Alameda Naval Station from San Francisco, Steven Nary would testify, Juan Pifarre told him that he had been to a party earlier. There he had had too much to drink and done too much cocaine, both likely true. He wasn't sure that he could make it across the bridge and back, likely false. 

His wife was "out of town," Pifarre told Nary. He suggested that Nary could stay at his house. He could call some girls. Pifarre, in fact, did have a wife, however sham a marriage that was, and Nary had seen him with girls. A naïve 18-year-old, he had no reason to be overly suspicious, and he consented. 

Along the way, Pifarre pulled the car over in a commercial area, promised to come right back, and exited. When he did come back, the interaction began to change. 

"He started touching my leg," Nary testified, "and asking for a blow job." Nary scooted away from him and pushed his hand off. Pifarre persisted, and Nary continued to resist. Pifarre then flashed some 20s he had gotten at the ATM where he had stopped. 

Exasperated and still inebriated, Nary finally accepted the $40, as he claimed, just to shut Pifarre up. Nary volunteered the information about accepting the money to the police. The prosecutors would hang him with it. 

When they got to the house, the first thing Pifarre did was to offer Nary some more alcohol. Nary tells me that he declined the booze and asked for water. Pifarre went with him to show him where the glasses were. 

"I don't remember if I filled the glass up or if he did," says Nary. After drinking the water, all that Nary wanted to do was go to sleep, and he told Pifarre this. But now Pifarre started hounding him for oral sex. 

"I told him I just wanted to go to sleep," Nary testified, but Pifarre would not let up. "The next thing I remember," Nary testified, "I was laying on the bed and him putting a condom on me and giving me a blow job." Prosecutor John Farrell ridiculed Nary on this point: 

"You don't know how your clothes got off." 

"No." 

"You don't know how your shirt got off." 

"No." 

"And you don't know how you got erect, right? Is that right?" 

"I guess, I mean. It just happened. I was there and he was putting a condom on me. " 

The scene got quickly more unsettling. Pifarre persisted, now demanding anal sex. What follows is the critical excerpt from Nary's letter of May 15: 

I have struggled with trying to understand why I let it all just happen. When I rolled over and pulled up my pants, he continued to ask me if he could give me anal sex. I said no and that I just want to go to sleep. After some time, he started pulling my shorts down to force anal sex on me. He succeeded in pulling my pants down enough for him to try to continue. I felt stuck. I could not speak. I could not move, and I could not do anything. He just kept trying and trying over and over. In fact, it brings me to tears as I write this because I have avoided this image for so long.
The reader does well to recall that Tim Schwager had had "memory flashbacks of trying to fight [Andrew Cunanan] off during the night," and when he came to, he had no clothes on and no memory of how they came off. 

Had Nary's public defender, Bruce Hotchkiss, introduced the idea of a drugging and there was also ample opportunity at the Palladium for Pifarre to have done so Nary's behavior would have made perfect sense. 

At the time, the use of date-rape drugs was widespread in gay society. Hotchkiss may not have known how prevalent the drugs were. Given their sensitivity on gay issues, especially in the Bay Area, the straight media have completely avoided the topic. 

Still, Pifarre and Cunanan inhabited the same city at the same time, used many of the same drugs and ran in overlapping circles. There is no evidence that they knew each other, but they shared certain lifestyle choices. 

One has to wonder where Pifarre got the confidence to go to a straight club, hustle a straight kid and expect to succeed. Some part of it may have been his skill at exploiting the loneliness and isolation of boys like Nary, especially if they were drunk. Part of it too may have been his willingness, perhaps even his eagerness, to take on rough trade. But given Nary's behavior, the best explanation is that Pifarre drugged him. 

Ironically, however, Nary is not looking for excuses. He has converted to Catholicism in prison and feels the need to accept responsibility for everything he has done, including the oral sex and the death of Pifarre. 

Besides, he knows that if he goes into his first parole hearing a few years hence playing innocent victim, "This system will never let me out." In fact, though, Nary responded to Pifarre's assault the way any rape victim would, at least one who had a fighting chance of success and who could summon the will and courage that Nary did. Hotchkiss asked: 

"What did you do at that point?" 

"I then tried to push him away?" 

"Were you able to push him off?" 

"No." 

"What was he saying, if anything?" 

"He continued to tell me he wanted to give screw me from behind." 

"What did you do at that point?" 

"I then grabbed a cup that was by the bed that had previously had water in it and hit him in the head with it." 

As Nary testified honestly, he had never been in a fight before in his life, never even lost his temper, but when he somehow got his mind back that night and his will, he fought off Pifarre like a man possessed. 

Pifarre had picked the wrong kid to rape. Nary does not really remember the sequence of events, never did. At his attorney's request, he tried to fill in the blanks as best he could, but the prosecutor walked all over him, made him sound evasive as well as violent, mocking Nary with every question. 

"Well, you hit him with the mug again and again at the door, right?" 

"I don't remember hitting him with the mug again and again." 

"But you might have, right?" 

"It's a possibility, yes." 

"So, it's a possibility you hit him with the mug, but you just don't remember that detail?" 

"After the first hit it went very quickly, so it wasn't a matter of remembering anything." 

Although the prosecutor would portray Pifarre as small and pudgy, he outweighed Nary and was not without power of his own. His friend Raymond Sloane testified to this at the trial. "Mr. Pifarre had a bravado, had a charisma, and I think it, you know, expanded as he was drinking." When Hotchkiss asked if Pifarre could become belligerent when he drank, Sloane answered simply, "He could." 

After the blow by the bedside, the fight shifted into the bathroom where Nary contends Pifarre tried to gouge his eyes out and where Nary countered by grabbing a towel rack and striking back. 

When Nary had finally subdued the relentless Pifarre, he grabbed his clothes as best he could, fled into the early morning darkness, and eventually made his way back to the base. 

Four days later, after talking to the chaplain, Nary called the police and turned himself in, not knowing that Pifarre was dead. Fearful of upsetting the Clinton administration in an election year and the host city on a gay issue, the Navy shamefully ignored its own regulations in its haste to rid itself of this now troublesome sailor. 

The judge set bail at $1 million. The figure shocked Nary's public defender because, as the San Francisco Chronicle would report, "The suspect called police voluntarily and asked to be picked up." 

Besides, Nary had "defensive wounds," and the bail for first time defendants in a passion crime almost never exceeded $250,000. 

No matter. Nary was about to learn lesson 1 in his unwilled study of San Francisco tectonics: Don't expect justice when you oppose two powerful cultural plates. Expect, in fact, to be crushed. 

Read Part 1, "Targeted in San Fran: Young, virginal male"

Read Part 2, "'Gay' and illegal: A winning combination"

Read Part 3, "'Gay' porn, drugs and date rape"

Order Cashill's brand-new book, "What's the Matter With California?" now available at Shop.WND.com autographed for no extra charge. 
 

Jack Cashill is an Emmy-award winning independent writer and producer with a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue. 


 http://narcosphere.narconews.com/story/2005/2/14/144520/628

The Right to be Incarcerated By Chris Herz, Posted on Mon Feb 14th, 2005 at 02:45:20 PM EST 

No reader of Narconews.com can be wholly ignorant of the massive violations of human rights standards and of international law which are essential igredients of the Drug War.Each winter, in the new year, I have researched some of the figures on the US injustice system and those who it incarcerates.  And each year the news is worse than the preceeding year. 

Really, reader, the US government should make its own statistics state secrets, for they show a massive and calculated level of official perversion and criminality.It is an extreme violation of human rights to single out a minority group for incarceration:  Some say this amounts to genocide; "an attempt to destroy an ethnic group in whole or in part."Our own Justice Robert H Jackson, chief US prosector at Nuremberg said then, "Aggressive war remains the supreme international crime."Let us deal with the genocidal US prison system first.The official numbers show an incarceration level for black males of 4,800 per 100,000 of population.  For whites this falls to 715/100K!The black male child born this year will have just under one chance in three of being jailed at some point in his life. 

The white child only one in 23!In the USA at this moment there are 603,000 young African males in college versus 791,600 in prison.One third of all African-American males between 20-29 years of age are in jail, on parole or under probationary supervision.The whole world was appalled by the torture exposed at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq.  This crime was disclosed not by judicial investigation but  by the very perpetrators themselves; believing themselves immune from legal responsibility they themselves filmed the fun.How many know that the perps were in civil life jail guards in the Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia systems?  And in these state systems we see that at least 21% of male prisoners experienced some form of coerced homosexual activity, and 10% of all prisoners were forcibly raped.We saw the director of the California system bragging in public how he whould personally escort a nototious offender to his new home where the new prisoner's cellmate would greet him:  "Hi Honey, I'm Spike. 

"Is rape becoming part of the prescribed punishment for American prisoners?And then we hear of prisoners held in sensory deprivation for upwards of 20 years.  Are we back in the days of the Count of Monte Cristo?Some older numbers still retain their poignancy: Between 1987 and 1999 the Federal penal system grew from 41,000 prisoners to 130,000.In the combined State systems, between 1991 and 1997, the drug prisoners increased from 21.3% to 57.9% of total population.And the same period for the Federal gulag:  20.7 to 62.6%.We can only suspect that the most recent numbers in these categories are even more dismal.  And of course, here at Narconews.com we have any number of excellent reporters right on the spot in the target countries of South America who can describe the aggression and repression carried out there using the mask of the Drug War.  It is time, and past time for us all to call for the arrest, prosecution and punishment of American officials before the International Criminal Court for these crimes. 

From the Imperial Capital Chris Herz  cdherz44@yahoo.com



 http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/7891926p-8770580c.html

Inmate denied new trial against 3 prison guards 
Man raped after being placed in cell with known sex predator. 
By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
(Published Saturday, December 13, 2003, 5:40 AM)
 

A former Corcoran State Prison inmate who was raped after he was placed into a cell with a known sexual predator has lost his motion for a new trial against three prison guards.
In October, a jury ruled in favor of guards accused by Eddie Webb Dillard in a federal civil rights complaint of intentionally putting him into the cell of Wayne Robertson, a convicted murderer with a reputation as a prison rapist.

Dillard, in a motion filed by his attorneys, contended that the evidence showed that the accused guards, Sgt. Robert Allan Decker and correctional officers Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva, failed to protect him from Robertson, known in prison as the "Booty Bandit."

However, U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii, in a 13-page opinion issued this week, concluded that he "does not have a definite and firm conviction that the jury made a mistake in this case."

Attorneys Robert L. Bastian and Marina R. Dini, who represent Dillard, had argued that the verdict was "a miscarriage of justice" in part because the court should not have permitted evidence at the trial about Dillard's other felonies and prison rules violations.

They also argued that the verdict was "against the weight of the evidence."

Bastian could not be reached to comment after Ishii's ruling.

Lawyers for the guards supported the decision, saying the jury's decision was consistent with the evidence.

Attorney Katherine Hart, who represented Decker, said she thought the judge's decision "was thorough and well-reasoned" and he had considered both sides.

Dillard, a convicted Los Angeles gang member, was serving a 10-year term for assault with a deadly weapon and robbery when he was placed into the cell of the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Robertson in March 1993.

Dillard was 5-foot-7 and 118 pounds.

Dillard also had sued former Corcoran medical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant. The jury also decided in her favor. Dillard's motion for a new trial did not include her as a defendant.

Although he served his original sentence, Dillard is back in the prison system after being accused of assault and being in possession of a weapon. He was sentenced this year to up to 11 years in prison as part of a plea deal.

Decker, Sylva and Sanchez were acquitted of criminal charges in Kings County Superior Court in 1999 over the same accusations.

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484



 http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/7485155.htm

Sat, Dec. 13, 2003

Corcoran inmate's claim for new trial rejected in "booty bandit" case
Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. - An inmate who lost his lawsuit against three state prison guards he claimed punished him by arranging his rape by a notorious sexual predator known as the "booty bandit" lost his bid for a new trial on civil rights charges.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii ruled this week that jurors did not made a mistake in October when they cleared the Corcoran State Prison guards of violating Eddie Webb Dillard's civil rights.

Dillard, who stood at 5-7 and weighed 118 pounds, claimed the guards and a medical technician set up and then covered up his rapes in retaliation for kicking a female guard at another prison. He claimed they intentionally placed him in a cell with convicted murderer Wayne Robertson, a 6-3, 220-pound convict with a reputation for sexually assaulting fellow inmates.

Sgt. Robert Decker, Anthony Sylva, Joe Sanchez and medical technician Kathy Horton-Plant were cleared of the civil rights charges in the four-week trial. The three guards were acquitted in 1999 of criminal charges in the same case. Horton-Plant was not a defendant in the criminal case and was not listed as a defendant in the motion for a new trial.
Robertson said at the criminal trial that he raped and tortured Dillard and testified the guards intentionally put Dillard in his cell in March 1993. But he changed his story in the civil case, saying he and Dillard made up the story in hopes of winning money.

Dillard's attorneys Robert L. Bastian and Marina R. Dini, argued the civil trial verdict contradicted the evidence and that the judge should not have allowed jurors to hear about Dillard's criminal record and prison rules violations. At the time of the alleged attacks, Dillard was serving 10 years for assault with a deadly weapon.

Dillard served that sentence, but is back behind bars after a plea deal in an assault and weapon case.

--Saturday, December 13, 2003 9:11 PM PST 



 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-3293480,00.html

Jury Finds Rape Not Prison Workers' Fault 

Wednesday October 22, 2003 3:46 AM
 

By BRIAN SKOLOFF 

Associated Press Writer 

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Four employees of a California state prison were not responsible for the rape of an inmate by a fellow prisoner, a jury found Tuesday. 

Eddie W. Dillard claimed during the federal civil rights trial that the employees at the prison in Corcoran arranged and then covered up his rapes by a convicted murderer notorious for sexual assaults on inmates. 

Dillard contended the rapes, over two days in March 1993, were arranged to punish him for kicking a female guard at another prison. Dillard is serving time for assault with a deadly weapon. 

Dillard filed suit in 1994 against Robert Decker, Anthony Sylva, Joe Sanchez and Kathy Horton-Plant. Decker, Sylva and Sanchez remain employed by the California Department of Corrections. Horton-Plant has since retired. 

Sanchez said he was ready to get back to work: ``I'm just glad it's over and I can get on with my career.'' 

Dillard's attorney, Robert L. Bastian, Jr., said he was considering seeking a new trial. 

The defendants' attorneys told jurors their clients had no knowledge of Wayne Robertson's sexually violent behavior and were not responsible for Dillard's transfer into Robertson's cell. 

Bastian called their claims ``denial, upon denial, upon denial,'' and pointed to a culture of apathy and neglect in the state prison system. 

Juror Grace Alcaraz said she wanted to decide for Dillard but the evidence did not prove intent by the guards. 

``My heart goes out to Dillard,'' Alcaraz said. ``The system failed Dillard and they (the guards) are the system.'' 

Decker, Sylva and Sanchez were acquitted in 1999 of criminal charges in the same case. 


 http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/7627707p-8534690c.html

Jury finds in favor of prison personnel 
By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 10/22/03 05:25:17

Anthony Sylva couldn't hold back the tears.
More than 10 years after Sylva, two other Corcoran State Prison guards and a former medical technical assistant were named by inmate Eddie Webb Dillard in a civil rights lawsuit, a federal court jury found in their favor Tuesday.

Sylva, along with others, wept as the verdicts were read. But outside the courtroom, he conceded that Dillard's lawyers were right about one thing: the system failed Dillard.

Dillard blamed Sylva, along with Sgt. Robert Allan Decker and correctional officer Joe Sanchez, for allowing him to be placed into a cell with Wayne Robertson, a prison sexual predator known as the "Booty Bandit."

Dillard also had accused former medical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant of a cover-up following attacks by Robertson.

Sylva, who also withstood a 1999 state criminal prosecution, expressed anger about what had happened, both to the guards and Dillard.

"Mr. Robertson should have been on single-cell status long before Eddie Dillard," Sylva said, adding that the California Department of Corrections had been "negligent" for allowing the two men to be placed in the same cell.

"The CDC not only failed him, it failed us," said Sylva, who now is a sergeant.

Dillard appeared not to show any emotion as the verdicts were read by U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii, but his lawyers said he, too, was fighting tears.

"Eddie said he's lost everything," said Robert L. Bastian, one of Dillard's lawyers. "He's lost his family. He's lost everything."

Bastian said he and lawyer Marina R. Dini will decided whether to ask for a new trial.

"We'll do everything we can for this gentleman. This gentleman deserves justice," said Bastian, who agreed with Sylva's comments.

"Someone needs to be held responsible," said Bastian.

Decker, whom Dillard blamed for ordering the cell move, said he had no comment after the jury's verdict.

Sanchez said, "I'm just glad it's over. I can get on with my life and my career."

Horton-Plant, who now lives in Texas, said, "I'm fine. I'm ready to go home."

Though most of the three women and four men on the jury were reluctant to comment, one was outspoken in her anger at Dillard's treatment.

Grace Alcaraz said the six hours of deliberations, following four weeks of trial, were intense. "It was a very difficult decision. My heart goes out to Eddie Dillard," she said.

When Sylva's wife, Mary, thanked her for the verdict, Alcaraz responded:

"Don't thank me. Hopefully, this is a lesson to all of them. But it's up to people like your husband to make it a lot smoother."

She voted in favor of the guards and Horton-Plant, Alcaraz said, even though she wasn't convinced they were blameless. "But I had to go by the evidence, she said, "... their names were not on documents, they weren't even there."

Decker, whom Dillard accused of ordering the cell transfer, was off-duty when it occurred. Sylva and Sanchez allegedly were told by Dillard that he did not want to be in a cell with Robertson, but both men denied in their testimony that he said anything specific to them.

Lawyer Mark H. Harris, who represented Sylva, said any problems at Corcoran "were not the result of these four defendants."

Attorney Katherine L. Hart, who represented Decker, said his reaction to the verdicts spoke for him. "There were tears of relief, and I think tears of relief speak volumes," Hart said.

Sanchez's lawyer, Jan L. Kahn, also declined to comment, except to say, "I'm just very proud to represent Joe Sanchez."

Eleven years ago, Dillard was a skinny Corcoran inmate, placed in the confines of the security housing unit, referred to as a prison within a prison, for putting rocks in a sock for use as a weapon. But he also had made another mistake -- he kicked a female officer in the shin at another prison and earned a reputation among guards as "a loudmouth staff assaulter."

Dillard claimed that was why he was placed into the cell of 6-foot-3, 220-pound convicted killer Robertson, tagged as "the Booty Bandit" for his sexual attacks on other inmates.

At the time, March 1993, Dillard was 23 years old and serving a 10-year term. He was a 5-foot-7, 118-pound Los Angeles gang member convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery.

Dillard and Robertson were together in the cell from March 5 to March 8, 1993. Dillard fled the cell while its door was open and refused to go back in, screaming about his ordeal, according to testimony.

In January 1994, Dillard filed a lawsuit against prison officials and the guards he said placed him there.

It was one of numerous lawsuits and criminal actions involving Corcoran guards that contributed to national media attention and earned the prison the title of the nation's "most violent."

Four officers, including Decker, Sylva and Sanchez, went on trial in 1999 on criminal charges in Dillard's case and were acquitted by a Kings County jury that deliberated over parts of three days.

Dillard served his original sentence and was freed from prison, married and had two young sons.

Later divorced and being treated for post traumatic stress disorder linked to his prison rapes, he was accused of assault and being in possession of a weapon and this year was sentenced to up to 11 years in prison as part of a plea deal in which he avoided a much longer "Three Strikes" sentence.

Robertson now is on single-cell status at maximum-security Pelican Bay State Prison.

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484.


 http://www.kron4.com/Global/story.asp?S=1491784

Verdict in 'Booty Bandit' Prison Rape
Posted: October 21, 2003 at 6:35 p.m. 
FRESNO (AP) -- Three guards and a former medical assistant were not responsible for the rape of an inmate at a California state prison once considered the nation's deadliest, a jury determined Tuesday. 

The jury deliberated for about five hours in the four-week-long federal civil rights trial of Eddie Webb Dillard. Dillard claims the guards and the medical technician at California State Prison, Corcoran set up and then covered up his rapes by convicted murderer Wayne Robertson, a man so notorious for his sexual assaults on fellow inmates that he is known as the "Booty Bandit." 

The attacks are alleged to have occurred over two days in March 1993. Dillard claims the guards arranged the assault to punish him for kicking a female guard at another prison. Dillard is serving time for assault with a deadly weapon. 

The jury found that Robert Decker, Anthony Sylva, Joe Sanchez and Kathy Horton-Plant were not responsible for the attacks. 

Decker, Sylva and Sanchez were acquitted in 1999 of criminal charges in the same case. 

Dillard filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in 1994 against Decker, Sylva, Sanchez and Horton-Plant, a prison medical assistant at that time who has since retired from the California Department of Corrections. Decker, Sylva and Sanchez remain employed by the CDC. 

"I will agree with one thing the plaintiff's attorneys said, and that is Mr. Robertson should have been on single cell status long before Dillard," Sylva said after the verdict. "They failed us, and I mean the CDC." 

Horton-Plant left the courtroom in tears. 

"I'm fine," she said. "I'm ready to go home." 

Joe Sanchez said he was ready to get back to work. 

"I'm just glad it's over and I can get on with my career," he said. 

Decker refused comment. 

Dillard's attorney, Robert L. Bastian, Jr., said he was considering filing a motion for a new trial. 

"This system is malfunctioning in multiple ways," Bastian said. "Someone needs to be held responsible." 

Juror Grace Alcaraz of Bakersfield said she wanted to decide in favor of Dillard but the evidence did not prove intent by the guards. 

"My heart goes out to Dillard," Alcaraz said. "The system failed Dillard and they (the guards) are the system." 

Sylva's wife, Mary, thanked jurors as they left the federal courthouse in Fresno. 

"Don't thank me," Alcaraz said. "He's part of the system. If it was up to me ... I'm just really upset." 

Dillard's attorneys claimed Horton-Plant orchestrated a cover-up of the rapes by not filing the proper medical reports and not following through with an order to have Dillard transferred to a hospital for a full rape examination. 

Former guards testified that the defendants knew Robertson was a sexual predator and would harm Dillard.

Bastian said CDC records document at least 25 reported instances of Robertson assaulting or raping cellmates between April 23, 1983 and November 30, 1997. 

Robertson testified at the criminal trial that he raped Dillard and that the guards knew it would happen. But during the civil case, Robertson claimed he never raped Dillard and that the two concocted the tale. 

The defendants' attorneys told jurors their clients had no knowledge of Robertson's sexually violent behavior and were not responsible for Dillard's transfer into Robertson's cell. 

Bastian called it "denial, upon denial, upon denial," and pointed to a culture of apathy and neglect in the state prison system. 

"This is not just about one incident," Bastian said. "It is about a lot of problems in the CDC." 

At the time of the incident, Dillard weighed a mere 118 pounds and was a known enemy of Robertson's. According to affidavits by CDC's own investigators, Robertson was listed in prison records as an enemy of Dillard. It is against CDC policy to house inmates with documented enemies. 

The defendants claimed they had no knowledge that the hulking 6-foot-3, 230-pound Robertson was an enemy of Dillard's. 

Prison officials refused to settle the civil case even though their own investigators found the guards liable in the criminal case. 

Stephen Green, assistant secretary of the California Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, which overseas the CDC, said that without a settlement, state law required the agency to pay for the defendants' attorneys. The CDC would have been responsible for any compensatory damages awarded to Dillard. 

Green agreed that Robertson should have been held in a single cell. 

"There was definitely a failing somewhere," Green said after the verdict. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm just glad this is over and we can put it behind us." 

Corcoran was the nation's most deadly prison from 1989 to 1995, when 43 inmates were wounded and seven shot to death by guards. Since 1990, at least a dozen Corcoran guards have been prosecuted on criminal charges and found innocent.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



Calif. prison employees found not responsible for inmate's rape 
BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, October 21, 2003 
©2003 Associated Press 

URL:  sfgate.com/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2003/10/21/state2034EDT0162.DTL
 

(10-21) 18:04 PDT FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- 

Three guards and a former medical assistant were not responsible for the rape of an inmate at a California state prison once considered the nation's deadliest, a jury determined Tuesday.

The jury deliberated for about five hours in the four-week-long federal civil rights trial of Eddie Webb Dillard. Dillard claims the guards and the medical technician at California State Prison, Corcoran set up and then covered up his rapes by convicted murderer Wayne Robertson, a man so notorious for his sexual assaults on fellow inmates that he is known as the "Booty Bandit." 

The attacks are alleged to have occurred over two days in March 1993. Dillard claims the guards arranged the assault to punish him for kicking a female guard at another prison. Dillard is serving time for assault with a deadly weapon. 

The jury found that Robert Decker, Anthony Sylva, Joe Sanchez and Kathy Horton-Plant were not responsible for the attacks. 

Decker, Sylva and Sanchez were acquitted in 1999 of criminal charges in the same case. 

Dillard filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in 1994 against Decker, Sylva, Sanchez and Horton-Plant, a prison medical assistant at that time who has since retired from the California Department of Corrections. Decker, Sylva and Sanchez remain employed by the CDC. 

"I will agree with one thing the plaintiff's attorneys said, and that is Mr. Robertson should have been on single cell status long before Dillard," Sylva said after the verdict. "They failed us, and I mean the CDC." 

Horton-Plant left the courtroom in tears. 

"I'm fine," she said. "I'm ready to go home." 

Joe Sanchez said he was ready to get back to work. 

"I'm just glad it's over and I can get on with my career," he said. 

Decker refused comment. 

Dillard's attorney, Robert L. Bastian, Jr., said he was considering filing a motion for a new trial. 

"This system is malfunctioning in multiple ways," Bastian said. "Someone needs to be held responsible." 

Juror Grace Alcaraz of Bakersfield said she wanted to decide in favor of Dillard but the evidence did not prove intent by the guards. 

"My heart goes out to Dillard," Alcaraz said. "The system failed Dillard and they (the guards) are the system." 

Sylva's wife, Mary, thanked jurors as they left the federal courthouse in Fresno. 

"Don't thank me," Alcaraz said. "He's part of the system. If it was up to me ... I'm just really upset." 

Dillard's attorneys claimed Horton-Plant orchestrated a cover-up of the rapes by not filing the proper medical reports and not following through with an order to have Dillard transferred to a hospital for a full rape examination. 

Former guards testified that the defendants knew Robertson was a sexual predator and would harm Dillard. 

Bastian said CDC records document at least 25 reported instances of Robertson assaulting or raping cellmates between April 23, 1983 and November 30, 1997. 

Robertson testified at the criminal trial that he raped Dillard and that the guards knew it would happen. But during the civil case, Robertson claimed he never raped Dillard and that the two concocted the tale. 

The defendants' attorneys told jurors their clients had no knowledge of Robertson's sexually violent behavior and were not responsible for Dillard's transfer into Robertson's cell. 

Bastian called it "denial, upon denial, upon denial," and pointed to a culture of apathy and neglect in the state prison system. 

"This is not just about one incident," Bastian said. "It is about a lot of problems in the CDC." 

At the time of the incident, Dillard weighed a mere 118 pounds and was a known enemy of Robertson's. According to affidavits by CDC's own investigators, Robertson was listed in prison records as an enemy of Dillard. It is against CDC policy to house inmates with documented enemies. 

The defendants claimed they had no knowledge that the hulking 6-foot-3, 230-pound Robertson was an enemy of Dillard's. 

Prison officials refused to settle the civil case even though their own investigators found the guards liable in the criminal case. 

Stephen Green, assistant secretary of the California Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, which overseas the CDC, said that without a settlement, state law required the agency to pay for the defendants' attorneys. The CDC would have been responsible for any compensatory damages awarded to Dillard. 

Green agreed that Robertson should have been held in a single cell. 

"There was definitely a failing somewhere," Green said after the verdict. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm just glad this is over and we can put it behind us." 

Corcoran was the nation's most deadly prison from 1989 to 1995, when 43 inmates were wounded and seven shot to death by guards. Since 1990, at least a dozen Corcoran guards have been prosecuted on criminal charges and found innocent. 

©2003 Associated Press 



Jury finds prison employees not responsible for inmate's rape 
BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, October 21, 2003 
©2003 Associated Press

URL:  sfgate.com/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2003/10/21/state1922EDT0141.DTL
 

(10-21) 16:22 PDT FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- 

Three guards and a former medical assistant were not responsible for the rape of an inmate at a state prison once considered the nation's deadliest, a jury determined Tuesday. 

The jury deliberated for about five hours in the four-week long federal civil rights trial of Eddie Webb Dillard. Dillard claims the guards and the medical technician at California State Prison, Corcoran set up and then covered up his rapes by convicted murderer Wayne Robertson, a man so notorious for his sexual assaults on fellow inmates that he is known as the "Booty Bandit." 

The attacks are alleged to have occurred over two days in March 1993. Dillard claims the guards arranged the assault to punish him for kicking a female guard at another prison. Dillard is serving time for assault with a deadly weapon. 

The jury found that Robert Decker, Anthony Sylva, Joe Sanchez and Kathy Horton-Plant were not responsible for the attacks. 

Decker, Silva and Sanchez were acquitted in 1999 of criminal charges in the same case. 

Dillard filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in 1994 against Decker, Sylva, Sanchez and Horton-Plant, a prison medical assistant at that time who has since retired from the California Department of Corrections. 

Decker, Sylva and Sanchez remain employed by the CDC. 

©2003 Associated Press 



 http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/7623281p-8530423c.html

History weighs against inmate
By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 10/21/03 05:30:14

Eddie Webb Dillard faces long odds.
A seven-member civil jury will begin deliberations today in Dillard's federal civil rights case against three Corcoran guards and a former medical technical assistant at the prison.

Never before has a jury returned a verdict against Corcoran State Prison guards after an inmate brought a lawsuit.

Regardless of the outcome, Dillard will return to prison, back to serving his nine years for assault, firing a weapon into a house and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Dillard's is the last remaining case from a mid-1990s spate of criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits involving Corcoran guards. The era earned the institution the dubious title of the nation's most violent prison.

Though the state has settled various wrongful death and injury complaints about Corcoran for several million dollars, cases that have gone to juries always have ended in favor of the guards.

Dillard has accused the officers of deliberately placing him into the cell of Wayne Robertson, a known sexual predator with the nickname "Booty Bandit," as punishment because he kicked a female guard at another prison.

Dillard, a Los Angeles gang member, told of two nights of terror with Robertson, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound hulk of a man made more ominous by his shaved head and tiny, braided pigtail.

Dillard, then 23, stood 5-foot-7 and 118 pounds at the time he was put into Robertson's cell.

His testimony about the alleged rapes by Robertson was compelling as he tearfully recalled his ordeal.

But Robertson, who four years ago while testifying at a criminal trial freely had admitted he raped Dillard, was a reluctant witness during the civil trial, telling jurors he and Dillard made the whole thing up.

Dillard's civil lawsuit named Sgt. Robert Allan Decker, officers Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva and former medical technical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant.

Decker and the other guards have repeatedly denied knowledge about Robertson's reputation as a predator before the alleged attacks and they have denied that Dillard protested being placed with Robertson.

The state Attorney General's Office prosecuted the guards after a criminal investigation by the California Department of Corrections and all were acquitted. Gov. Davis later decided that the state should pay to defend the guards in the civil case.

Throughout the trial, Dillard, his legs shackled, has been led in and out of the courtroom outside the view of the jury by two state prison guards. He sits at a table with his two lawyers, across the room from the seven jurors. The table has a shield on it so jurors cannot see the shackles.

The four defendants are seated in chairs near the jury box and behind their four lawyers at a second counsel table. The configuration has meant that the jury members pass close to Decker, Sanchez, Sylva and Horton-Plant each time they enter or leave during the day.

In other trials, the defendants would normally sit where Dillard is seated and vice versa, but U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii decided on the change so the jury would not see Dillard's chains.

Whether the switch has had any influence on the jury is debatable. As one of the lawyers commented outside the courtroom, "You never know what a jury is thinking."

For Dillard, who filed his lawsuit in January 1994, the answer may come this week.

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484. 



 http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/7040234.htm

Posted on Fri, Oct. 17, 2003 

Closing arguments in "booty bandit" prison rape case
BRIAN SKOLOFF
Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. - A lawyer for a state prison inmate who claims guards set him up to be raped by another inmate known as the "Booty Bandit" asked jurors Friday to award the plaintiff the same amount of money they would give to a free man.

"He is entitled to the benefit of federal law and justice," said Robert L. Bastian, Jr., in his closing argument after four weeks of testimony.

Eddie Webb Dillard claims the guards at California State Prison, Corcoran set up his rapes by convicted murderer Wayne Robertson over two days in March 1993 to punish him for kicking a female guard at another prison. Dillard is serving time for assault with a deadly weapon.

Robert Decker, Dale Brakebill, Anthony Sylva and Joe Sanchez were acquitted in 1999 of criminal charges in the same case. Each had faced up to nine years in prison.

Dillard filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in 1994 against Decker, Sylva, Sanchez and Kathy Horton-Plant, a prison medical assistant at that time who has since retired from the California Department of Corrections.

Decker, Sylva and Sanchez remain employed by the CDC.

The guards' attorneys have claimed their clients did not act with intent to harm Dillard, and, in fact, were not responsible for Dillard's move into Robertson's cell.

Dillard's attorneys claim the guards ignored the fact that prison records indicated he was a known enemy of Robertson's. It is against prison policy to house inmate enemies together.

Dillard's attorneys claim Horton-Plant orchestrated a cover-up of the rapes by not filing the proper medical reports and not following through with an order to have Dillard transferred to a hospital for a full rape examination.

Former guards testified that the defendants knew Robertson was a sexual predator and would harm Dillard.

Bastian said CDC records document at least 25 reported instances of Robertson assaulting or raping cellmates from April 23, 1983, until November 30, 1997, earning him the nickname "Booty Bandit."

Robertson himself testified at the earlier criminal trial that he raped Dillard and that the guards "knew what would happen to him if they put him in" his cell.

But during the civil case, Robertson changed his story, claiming he never raped Dillard and that the two concocted the tale in hopes of winning money at a trial.

Bastian said Friday that Robertson changed his story because the attorney refused to offer him an incentive for testifying.

"Robertson sent me a letter, asking 'What's in it for me?'" Bastian told jurors.

Bastian has not said how much money his client should get, but CDC officials said Dillard wanted millions. The CDC would be responsible for any compensatory damages awarded to Dillard.

Prison officials refused to settle the civil case even though their own investigators found the guards liable in the criminal case.

Jan Kahn, the attorney representing Sanchez, said Sanchez shouldn't be held responsible because he wasn't on duty the day Dillard was transferred into Robertson's cell. Kahn said Dillard never told Sanchez he was in any danger sharing a cell with Robertson and depicted the two inmates as being on friendly terms.

Mark Harris, the attorney representing Horton-Plant and Silva, attempted to depict Dillard as a career criminal whose credibility can't be trusted.

"This case is all about evidence and credibility," Harris told jurors.

Harris said Horton-Plant examined Dillard after the alleged rape and contacted her supervisors, who ordered Dillard transferred to a hospital for further exams.

The fact that Dillard was never transferred was not Horton-Plant's fault, Harris said. He blamed the oversight on other prison employees.

"This is not a cover-up," he said. "The ball was dropped that night, but who dropped it? It certainly wasn't Kathy Horton-Plant, Anthony Silva, Robert Decker or Joe Sanchez."

Harris said the decision to transfer Dillard into Robertson's cell came from higher authorities in the prison system, not from any of the defendants.

Closing arguments were expected to last throughout the day Friday. The jury would either get the case Friday evening or Tuesday, when court is back in session.



http://fresnobee.com/local/crime/story/7599360p-8507301c.html

Inmate's enemies list missing, court told 
By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 10/16/03 08:57:00

Reports that would have warned Corcoran State Prison officials about the dangers of placing inmate Eddie Webb Dillard in the cell of a known sexual predator were missing from their files, a prison expert acknowledged Wednesday.
Robert Borg, a retired prison warden, said it is a mystery to him how files disappeared that should have listed the "enemies" of both Dillard and Wayne Robertson, whose reputation earned him the nickname "Booty Bandit."

Dillard sued three correctional officers and a former medical technical assistant in a federal court civil rights case in which he charged that he was put in the cell of Robertson in March 1993 as punishment because he had kicked a female guard at another prison.

Central files, or C-files, of inmates have forms listing their enemies, said Borg, who retired in 1992 and has testified numerous times on behalf of guards in prison abuse cases. Such forms allow staff at classification hearings to protect against placing incompatible inmates together.

"It's a mystery to me. I don't know," Borg said when asked by Dillard's attorney Robert L. Bastian why Robertson, serving a life sentence for murder, did not have any enemies listed in his file until June 1993.

Borg said Corcoran officials should have been alerted to possible problems with Robertson when he came to the prison in January 1993, but it was not the responsibility of floor officers in the security housing unit where Robertson was incarcerated to obtain that information.

Robertson's central file did contain information about "numerous sexual misconducts while in custody," said Borg, and that information should have been passed on to guards in the security housing unit by officers who conducted a classification hearing for Robertson following his arrival at Corcoran.

Borg was hired as an expert witness on behalf of Sgt. Robert Allan Decker, officers Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva and former medical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant.

The file on Robertson had information about possible danger, Borg said.

"Yes, there were things in there that say, 'We need to take a look at his status and how we house him,' " said Borg, answering questions from defense lawyer Katherine L. Hart.

However, it was up to a correctional counselor at the classification hearing of Robertson and later Dillard to warn or inform staff about possible problems.

Borg was critical of correctional counselor Richard Emerson, who was at Dillard's classification hearing when he first came to Corcoran, and the report that Emerson prepared, including an enemies list dated Feb. 26, 1993, that listed Robertson among his enemies.

Decker also had testified earlier that he believed Emerson deliberately created the enemies file for Dillard after the alleged rapes occurred.

Testimony in the trial, now in its fourth week, concluded Wednesday, and closing arguments are scheduled for Friday.

U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii dismissed one of the female jurors on the panel because of physical injuries she sustained over the weekend. That leaves three women and four men on the jury. Civil cases in federal court can have as few as six members, but verdicts must be unanimous.

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484.


 http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/7576972p-8486225c.html

Judge refuses to drop woman from prison trial
By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 10/11/03 05:35:25

A federal judge said Friday that if he were on the jury in Eddie Webb Dillard's trial over allegations of rape in Corcoran State Prison, he would find in favor of one of the defendants.
However, U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii wouldn't drop Kathy Horton-Plant as a defendant in the case after a lawyer argued that there was a lack of evidence against her.

Horton-Plant was a medical technical assistant who visually examined Dillard on March 8, 1993, after he fled the cell of Wayne Robertson, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound sexual predator known in prison as the "Booty Bandit."

She and three Corcoran corrections officers are on trial in federal court in Fresno over allegations by Dillard that he was deliberately placed into the cell of Robertson as punishment for assaulting a female guard at another prison.

Horton-Plant, who now lives in Texas, testified during the trial that after she examined Dillard, she received an order from a prison doctor to have him taken to a hospital for a rape examination.

The transportation order was mysteriously canceled, according to testimony, and Dillard was moved to another cell without any further medical treatment.

Another witness, former corrections officer Michael Coziahr, also testified that Horton-Plant, who is accused of participating in a cover-up, was sympathetic to Dillard's alleged attack and angrily admonished other officers who laughed at an off-color joke about the alleged rape.

Mark H. Harris, a lawyer representing Horton-Plant, asked Ishii to drop her from the case before it is turned over to the four-woman, four-man civil jury.

While it appears "some balls were dropped" in the Dillard case, Harris said, "I don't believe my client dropped any balls or was deliberately indifferent to Eddie Webb Dillard."

However, Robert L. Bastian, one of Dillard's lawyers, urged the judge to deny the motion to dismiss Horton-Plant as a defendant and let the jury decide.

If it is true she was "heroically trying to get medical care" for Dillard, Bastian said, she should have known and written in reports who is responsible for blocking that care.

Ishii said the evidence against Horton-Plant is circumstantial and if he were on the jury, he would find in her favor, but the jury has to reach its own conclusion.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages from Horton-Plant, Sgt. Robert Allan Decker and officers Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva, whose defense is being paid for by the state.

In testimony Friday, Elizabeth J. Harris, a clinical psychologist from Encino, said she treated Dillard in 2001 for post-traumatic stress disorder relating to the alleged multiple rapes by Robertson.

Harris, no relation to lawyer Harris, said Dillard exhibited all of the classic symptoms of the disorder, caused when one witnesses or is subjected to an event that causes fear of death or great injury.

"He came basically wanting relief from the symptoms he was experiencing," Harris said, noting Dillard's problems included nightmares, pervasive fear, irritability and psychological distress.

After nine sessions, Dillard appeared much better and did not return, Harris said.

Dillard, 33, was first convicted of three felonies in 1990 and served six years of a 10-year sentence. He went back into prison this year after committing other felonies and is serving a term of nine to 11 years.

The trial concluded its third week Friday and will resume Wednesday.

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484.



 http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/7571530p-8481035c.html

Witness analyzes guards' behavior 
By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 10/10/03 05:35:15

Corcoran State Prison guards should have known that inmate Wayne Robertson, whose reputation earned him the nickname "Booty Bandit," was a sexual predator and needed to be watched carefully, a former correctional lieutenant testified Thursday.
The information in Robertson's central file at the prison "overwhelmingly dictates that he is a predator and requires special handling," said Steve Rigg, a former whistle-blower who left the California Department of Corrections in 1998.

Rigg testified as an expert witness called by lawyers for Eddie Webb Dillard, who has accused guards of deliberately placing him in a cell with Robertson in March 1993 to punish him for kicking a female guard at another prison.

Rigg said it is important for correctional staffers to know behavior patterns of prisoners, gang affiliations and their disciplinary histories "so they can determine what to expect from an inmate."

It is especially important in the security housing unit "because you have your violent inmates, in the SHU," Rigg said under questioning by one of Dillard's lawyers, Robert L. Bastian.

Rigg took a disability retirement from the CDC after he and correctional officer Richard Caruso gave federal investigators purported evidence of guard criminal activity at Corcoran in the mid- 1990s as controversy surrounded the institution and it earned a reputation as the nation's most violent prison.

Both men, who claimed they had to endure death threats, harassment, punitive job changes and stress-related health problems, sued the CDC. Caruso received a $1.7 million settlement. Rigg's case is headed for trial in January in federal court in Sacramento.

Lawyers for guards Sgt. Robert Allan Decker, Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva, and former medical technical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant were not allowed to ask Rigg about the whistle-blower reports, nor the circumstances under which he left CDC after a 16-year career.

U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii barred the questions, saying the civil-rights lawsuit is against four people, not the CDC. The judge also said he would not allow Dillard's lawyers to question Robert Borg, an expert witness who will be called to testify for the guards and Horton-Plant about the fact he is on the CDC payroll.

While Rigg testified that guards should know the reputation of inmates as a means of heading off problems, he conceded under questioning by Sanchez's lawyer, Jan L. Kahn, that "special information" sections were blank on documents pertaining to Robertson that were available to officers in the security housing unit.

Dale Shawn Brakebill, who along with Decker, Sanchez and Sylva was acquitted of criminal charges four years ago in the Dillard case, testified that he never asked Dillard whether he was homosexual. It was not something he would ask a prisoner, he said.

Dillard had claimed that Brakebill asked him the question before he was placed into the cell with Robertson.

Brakebill, who is now a correctional lieutenant, was identified as "Drakebill" when Dillard filed his lawsuit in January 1994, and the error resulted in Brakebill being dropped from the federal civil-rights case.

In other testimony Thursday, Kelly Harrington, the associate warden at Wasco State Prison, said Dillard never told him that Robertson was to be on his "enemies list" during an interview at Tehachapi State prison in 1992.

Dillard had been placed in administrative segregation after an altercation with Robertson at Tehachapi. Harrington was a correctional counselor at the time and in charge of writing a report that allowed Dillard to return to the prison's general population.

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484.



 http://fresnobee.com/local/crime/story/7566980p-8476342c.html

Dillard silent after cell rape 
By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 10/09/03 09:59:00

On the day after he was first raped by a sexual predator in Corcoran State Prison, Eddie Webb Dillard never told guards and never protested being placed back into the cell with his attacker, Dillard acknowledged Wednesday.
Under questioning by defense lawyers, Dillard testified that he was taken to shower the day after he was first raped by inmate Wayne Robertson and went back to his cell without telling officers.

Dillard concluded his testimony in his federal civil-rights lawsuit against three correctional officers and a former medical technical assistant at Corcoran.

He testified he had objected to being placed into the cell with Robertson, known in prison as the "Booty Bandit," on March 5, 1993, but once he was there he went to an exercise yard the following day and never said anything to guards.

That night he was beaten and sodomized for the first time by Robertson, Dillard said, and the next day he was taken to shower and never told officers of the attack. Another attack followed.

Dillard had testified earlier that when Robertson began beating him, before his first rape, he called for officers, but no one responded. After that, he said, he submitted to the second rape because Robertson, 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, was much stronger than Dillard and Dillard believed that officers would not help him.

His lawsuit has accused correctional Sgt. Robert Allan Decker and officers Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva with deliberately placing him into a cell with Robertson to punish him because he had kicked a female guard at another state prison.

His complaint also accused former medical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant of an attempted cover-up after the reported rapes.

On the third day he was in a cell with Robertson in Corcoran's security housing unit, Dillard, 5-foot-7 and 118 pounds at the time, ran out when the door was opened and refused to return, saying he had been raped.

In other testimony Wednesday, psychiatrist A. A. Howsepian said that Dillard suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the rapes by Robertson.

The disorder is one of "multiple psychiatric disturbances" that Howsepian said he diagnosed after a two-hour interview with Dillard in March 2001.

Dillard also has major depression, personality disorder and has abused substances including marijuana, cocaine and alcohol, said Howsepian, who is on the University of California at San Francisco medical faculty in Fresno.

Dillard mentioned a variety of problems when he talked to him, Howsepian said, including fears that officers of the California Department of Corrections might in some way try to harm him.

Howsepian said Dillard told him he has re-experienced the rapes in his mind and he tries not to think about it, but the thought keeps recurring. He also has nightmares in which he is chased by dogs or headless people or "well-formed" people until he falls off a cliff.

All are symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, Howsepian said, answering questions by Dillard's lawyer, Marina R. Dini.

He also acknowledged, under cross-examination by defense lawyer Katherine L. Hart, that many of the symptoms "overlap" with a "personality disorder" that Dillard has.

Dillard, a Los Angeles gang member, was first convicted of three felonies in 1990 and served six years of a 10-year sentence. He went back into prison this year after committing other felonies and is serving a term of nine to 11 years.

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484.



 http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/7561142p-8471761c.html

Man tells court of rape in Corcoran prison cell 
By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 10/08/03 04:30:22

At times fighting back tears, Eddie Webb Dillard described his rape and his attempts to fight off a man nearly twice his size inside a tiny Corcoran State Prison cell more than 10 years ago.
"He struck me to get into a physical altercation with me to tire me out, so he could rape me," Dillard testified Tuesday to the four-man, four-woman jury in his federal civil rights trial.

Dillard hollered for a correctional officer, but none came, he said. The other inmate, Wayne Robertson, 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, grabbed him again and told him, "I'm going to rape you."

Dillard, 5-foot-7 and 118 pounds, tried to get away, but the stronger man grabbed him by the throat and pinned him against the wall, he said.

Then he hit him again, in the stomach, and kept telling him, "I'm going to get it, I'm going to get it."

Dillard said he was raped that night and again the next before he broke from the security housing unit cell while it opened for Robertson, known in prison as a sexual predator and nicknamed the "Booty Bandit."

Sgt. Robert Allan Decker and officers Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva were named in Dillard's lawsuit and accused of deliberately placing him into a cell with Robertson on March 5, 1993, to punish him because he had kicked a female guard at another state prison.

His complaint also accused former medical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant of an attempted cover-up after the reported rapes.

Dillard's testimony, answering questions from his lawyer, Marina R. Dini, was graphic in some of its details. He wept at times when recalling the attacks of March 6 and 7, 1993.

After the physical beating he took the first night he was raped, he submitted on the second night because he knew he could not fight the larger Robertson, he testified.

"I'm thinking, 'How could this be happening?' " Dillard said.

Dillard just wanted out of the cell, he said: "They put me in there; they knew what he was doing."

He was visually examined but never treated for his injuries, Dillard said. He later filed a prison complaint against Sanchez but eventually withdrew it because he was afraid of reprisal.

Dillard, a gang member from Compton, said he was convicted of three felonies as a 19-year-old, and first saw Robertson when the two of them were at Tehachapi State Prison.

As Dillard dressed in the dayroom after a shower, Robertson walked up to him and hit him in the face, knocking him off a bench and unconscious.

Dillard said he was accused of fighting.

His punishment: His prison sentence was extended and he was placed in administrative segregation, or what inmates call "the hole," for 30 days.

Dillard testified that he requested to be transferred to the new Calipatria State Prison and it was there that he kicked a guard. He said he was handcuffed and the female guard hit him in the back and "I kicked my leg back and hit her."

That incident also extended his prison time and he wound up at the Corcoran security housing unit, essentially a prison within a prison.

Shortly after his arrival on Feb. 24, 1993, he was placed into a cell with Robertson.

Sylva was one of the officers who escorted him to the unit where Robertson was, Dillard said. When he asked the officer where he was going, Sylva told him that Robertson chose him after Decker had allowed Robertson to see a daily move sheet.

In earlier testimony Tuesday, Michael Coziahr, a former correctional officer, testified that Dillard cried when he fled Robertson's cell and there was no doubt in his mind that Robertson had raped him.

Coziahr said he later questioned Robertson, and the inmate had a "big smile on his face" and was laughing.

"Yeah, I did it. I punked the little guy out," Coziahr said Robertson told him.

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484.



 http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/7542584p-8454573c.html

Dillard could have stopped move, guard says 
By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 10/04/03 05:10:18

If Eddie Webb Dillard had protested to guards about being placed into the cell of convicted murderer Wayne Robertson, a known sexual predator, the move would have been immediately stopped, a correctional officer testified Friday.
Anthony Sylva, one of the guards Dillard named in a federal civil rights complaint, said he does not recall walking Dillard to the security housing unit where he was later placed into a cell with Robertson, known as the "Booty Bandit."

Sylva, who is now a sergeant, was listed as one of the guards who escorted Dillard after he was ordered moved into Robertson's cell.

While he has no recollection of the transfer, Sylva testified, it is policy to stop a cell move if an inmate complains that the person he is being placed with is an "enemy." The procedure would be to place the complaining inmate in a holding cell and contact a supervisor.

Dillard claims that Sylva, along with Sgt. Robert Allan Decker and officer Joe Sanchez, put him into the Corcoran cell of Robertson for three days in March 1993 to punish him because Dillard had kicked a female guard at another prison.

He also has accused former medical technical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant of participating in a cover-up of the investigation of his rape by Robertson, who in previous statements admitted attacking Dillard. Robertson recanted the admissions during the ongoing federal civil trial.

Horton-Plant said she did not recall the Dillard incident, but reports she filled out at the time reflect a visual examination of Dillard on March 8, 1993, after he alleged that Robertson had raped him.

"To this day I do not remember the incident with Mr. Dillard, except for the paperwork I have here," Horton-Plant testified.

The report she filled out reflects that she contacted the prison doctor who ordered Dillard transported to a hospital for a rape examination. It also reflects that the trip to the hospital was canceled by the prison security unit.

Horton-Plant said she does not recall who told her the security unit had canceled the hospital examination. A sergeant with the security unit testified earlier in the trial that the unit was not contacted about Dillard's allegations.

Horton-Plant's examination of Dillard revealed an abrasion on his right shoulder and a bruised lip, but no other "apparent" injuries.

Horton-Plant, who no longer lives in California, said she was upset when she found out Dillard had never been taken to the hospital for an examination that could have determined whether he had been raped. She does not know why the doctor's order to take Dillard to a hospital was canceled, Horton-Plant testified. She was upset, she said, "because he wasn't medically cleared to be rehoused."

The jury trial before U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii will resume Tuesday.

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484.
 

© 2002 , The Fresno Bee 



 http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/7537179p-8449353c.html

Officer testifies papers forged 
Corcoran prison guard says counselor backdated document. 
By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
(Published Friday, October 3, 2003, 7:50 AM)
 

A Corcoran State Prison sergeant testified Thursday that he believes evidence used against him in a criminal trial and now in a civil lawsuit was forged.
Sgt. Robert Allan Decker never gave a reason for his belief but testified he has avoided the officer he believes falsified records that were used against him.

Decker and two other correctional officers, as well as a former medical assistant, are on trial in federal court in a civil-rights case involving allegations by inmate Eddie Webb Dillard that in 1993 he was intentionally placed into the cell of prison rapist Wayne Robertson, known as the "Booty Bandit."

One piece of evidence introduced is an "enemies list" that reports Robertson as someone Dillard did not want to be associated with.

The list would prevent the two men from being placed in a cell together.

Asked by defense lawyer Mark H. Harris whether he thought a correctional counselor had intentionally backdated the document to show Robertson as an enemy after Dillard's alleged rape, Decker responded "yes."

One of Dillard's lawyers, Robert L. Bastian, pursued the questioning, grilling Decker about whether it was the first time he had accused the other officer, identified as Richard Emerson, of deliberately backdating the list.

"Under testimony, yes," Decker said.

Asked whether he had ever confronted Emerson, who testified in Decker's criminal trial four years ago, Decker said, "I avoid speaking with him, if at all possible."

Decker and correctional officers Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva are accused of placing Dillard into a cell with Robertson on March 5, 1993, to punish him because he had kicked a female guard at another state prison.

Dillard also has accused former medical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant of an attempted cover-up after he allegedly was raped by Robertson.

Decker, Sanchez, Sylva and one other guard were acquitted following a criminal trial in Kings County four years ago.

Decker never pursued a complaint against Emerson, he said, nor has he ever told the California Department of Corrections that he believed the enemies list document is a forgery.

"I believe it is well known, that is my opinion ... my belief, ... he forged the document and backdated it," said Decker, who completed his testimony Thursday after parts of four days on the witness stand.

The enemies list document, dated Feb. 26, 1993, was signed by Emerson, who testified in the guards' criminal trial that Robertson was well-known to staff as a sexual predator.

In other testimony Thursday, correctional Lt. David G. Nunez said he heard officers joking and laughing about Dillard's allegations and his rape by the 6-foot-2-inch, 220-pound Robertson.

Dillard weighed 118 pounds at the time.

Nunez said about three or four days after Dillard's alleged attack by Robertson, he overheard five or six officers laughing at an off-color remark, a joke about Dillard being sodomized.

He said he believed Sanchez was one of the officers joking about the attack, an allegation Sanchez denied when he testified later.

Nunez said there was ample information available to correctional officers about any prisoner's background, whether he was a staff assaulter or sexual predator or had other problems, and that should have prevented Dillard from being housed with Robertson.

It is also possible that a sergeant could order a cell move and not sign the actual transfer order, Nunez said. Decker testified that he was off duty when Dillard was transferred to Robertson's cell and he never ordered the transfer.

If an inmate is raped or alleges rape, the incident should be reflected in a logbook on the date, Nunez said. Dillard's allegations were not documented until months after the alleged attacks of March 5 and 6, 1993.

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484.



Inmate sought Dillard as cellmate, guard says 

By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 10/02/03 04:30:20

Convicted killer Wayne Robertson asked to be placed in a Corcoran State Prison cell with inmate Eddie Webb Dillard so he could show him "how to do his time," a correctional sergeant testified Wednesday.
But Sgt. Robert Allan Decker, one of three guards on trial in Dillard's civil lawsuit in federal court, said that did not mean Robertson, known, among other nicknames, as the "Booty Bandit," wanted to sexually attack Dillard.

Both prisoners were housed in Corcoran's secured housing unit in early 1993, and Robertson told Decker he wanted a new cellmate.

One of those he mentioned was Dillard.

"He's a youngster. I want to show him how to do his time so he can get out of prison," Decker testified that Robertson told him.

But that didn't mean Robertson wanted to attack Dillard, Decker said, adding it was not uncommon for older inmates to teach younger ones how to get along.

Decker, along with guards Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva, are accused of placing Dillard into a cell with Robertson on March 5, 1993, to punish him because he had kicked a female guard at another state prison.

Dillard also has accused former medical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant of an attempted cover-up after he was allegedly raped by Robertson.

Decker, answering questions from his lawyer, Katherine L. Hart, said there was no indication on prison forms available to him at the time that Robertson was a sexual predator, or that Dillard had listed Robertson as an "enemy" with whom he did not want to be housed.

However, under questioning by Dillard's lawyer, Robert L. Bastian, Decker became defensive when questioned about an "enemies" list prepared by another officer and dated weeks before the two men were placed together. That list included Robertson as an enemy of Dillard.

Decker said it was his opinion that the document, dated Feb. 26, 1993, was "falsified way after the date inmate Dillard arrived."

Asked by Bastian whether he believed he was being "set up" by someone in the California Department of Corrections, Decker replied, "I don't know."

The document was signed by Corcoran counselor Richard Emerson, who testified in a criminal trial of the guards four years ago that Robertson was well-known to staff as a sexual predator. The guards were acquitted in that trial, which followed a CDC investigation of the alleged Dillard rapes.

Although he spoke with Robertson about having Dillard moved into a cell with him, Decker testified he never ordered the move and was off duty when it took place.

Decker said the first time he heard of the alleged rape of Dillard was in June 1993 when Dillard told him that Robertson had raped him and he wanted Robertson to be listed as his "enemy" so they would not be housed together.

He said that after that interview and another allegation of rape by another inmate, he recommended that Robertson be placed on single-cell status.

In other testimony Wednesday, correctional Capt. Johnny Castro said the security unit never would call off a trip to the hospital ordered by medical staff. Horton-Plant has contended that she ordered a rape examination of Dillard after being instructed to do so by a doctor, but it was canceled by the security unit.

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484.
 

© 2002 , The Fresno Bee 



 http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/7526467p-8439883c.html
 

Ex-Corcoran inmate testifies to attack in cell 

By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 10/01/03 05:35:12

A former Corcoran State Prison inmate who fought off an attack by sexual predator Wayne Robertson testified Tuesday that he protested being placed in the cell with Robertson, but never told correctional officers the reason why. 
"That's snitching. ... it's not my position to say, especially to a correctional officer," said inmate Lawrence Johnson, who is serving a "Three Strikes" sentence of 31 years to life for attempted rape. 

Johnson said inmates were well aware of Robertson's reputation as a prison rapist and predator and that is the reason he protested to Sgt. Robert Allan Decker before being placed into a cell with him at Corcoran in 1993. 

Decker, along with guards Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva, are accused of deliberately placing inmate Eddie Webb Dillard into a cell with Robertson to punish him because he had kicked a female guard at another state prison. 

Dillard's civil trial against the guards and former medical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant resumed Tuesday with the testimony of Johnson and another inmate, Oliver Coleman, serving seven years to life for kidnapping and robbery. 

Johnson, answering questions from Dillard's lawyer, Marina R. Dini, said he protested to Decker that he and Robertson weren't compatible when he was ordered moved into Robertson's cell in the secured housing unit. 

"I knew his history, his M.O.," Johnson said. 

Decker did not heed his protests, Johnson said, and he went to Robertson's cell and was told by the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Robertson that "if I come in there, I come in at my own risk." 

Lawyers for the officers objected to the testimony about Robertson's warning, and U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii ordered the jury to disregard the statement. 

The judge also prevented testimony from Coleman that he didn't tell guards about Robertson's reputation because that would label him a "snitch," and in a prison, a snitch could wind up injured or dead.

Robertson did attack him, but he was able to fight him off and suffered a "busted lip and black eye." He never told officers about the fight, he said, and was transferred out of Robertson's cell a couple of days later. 

Robertson, who admitted he raped Dillard when he testified at the guards' criminal trial four years ago, last week testified in the civil trial that the alleged rape was a scheme that he and Dillard made up. The guards were acquitted in the criminal trial. 

Coleman testified that he saw Dillard run from Robertson's cell after the alleged rape. 

"All I know is the man came out of the cell hollering he was raped," Coleman said. 

He said he later was placed into a cell with Robertson and asked him "what happened to the little youngster?" Dillard was 5-foot-7, 118 pounds. 

Robertson responded something to the effect that "one thing led to another," Coleman testified. 

Asked by lawyer Katherine L. Hart, representing Decker, whether he had any problems with Robertson, Coleman replied, "not at all." 

In testimony later Tuesday, Decker said that when he answered questions in the civil case in 1995 and stated he knew Dillard had been sexually assaulted by Robertson in March 1993, he actually was thinking of an alleged assault of another inmate that took place three months later. 

Decker underwent intense questioning by another Dillard lawyer, Robert L. Bastian, about cell transfers he had ordered in the secured housing unit and whether he should have known that Dillard had placed Robertson on his "enemies list," meaning he did not want to be in a cell with him. 

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484. 
 

© 2002 , The Fresno Bee 



 http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/7502543p-8417636c.html
 

Witness changes testimony

By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 09/26/03 04:55:17

Convicted murderer Wayne Robertson, the so-called "Booty Bandit" who said he raped inmate Eddie Webb Dillard because Corcoran State Prison guards wanted to teach Dillard a lesson, stunned a federal courtroom Thursday by testifying he and Dillard made the whole thing up.
Robertson, after hours of testimony and denial that he even knew or remembered Dillard, said he never raped him and that the two of them had come up with a scheme to say Dillard had been sexually assaulted.

Four years ago, in a criminal prosecution of correctional officers, Robertson testified that he beat and repeatedly sodomized Dillard when the two men were placed together in a cell at Corcoran's security housing unit, or SHU, for three days in March 1993.

It was not true, Robertson said from the witness stand Thursday in Dillard's federal civil lawsuit against the guards.

"Mr. Dillard asked me to help him and I said 'yes,' but at no time did I think he would take it to this extreme," the shackled, 6-foot-3, 220-pound Robertson said. Three black-vested state guards stood within feet of him.

Dillard filed a federal civil rights complaint against guards Robert Allan Decker, Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva, accusing them of putting him into Robertson's cell for three days to punish him because he had kicked a female guard at another state prison.

He also named former medical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant, contending she orchestrated a cover-up by refusing to have him taken to a hospital after the alleged attacks by Robertson.

Under questioning by Dillard's lawyer, Robert L. Bastian, Robertson was evasive and couldn't remember any details, frequently saying he did not recall Dillard and asking to see him or a photo to try to recall him.

Dillard had asked not to be present when Robertson was on the witness stand and was not in the courtroom for any of his testimony.

"Name sounds familiar," said Robertson.

Robertson, referred to in prison slang as the "Booty Bandit" for his sexual assaults on inmates, was asked if he was angry about having to testify.

"Oh, yeah," he answered.

Most of Robertson's testimony Thursday was in stark contrast to that of the man who testified four years ago that he had sodomized Dillard over two days after Decker had told him that Dillard, who weighed 118 pounds, "needs to learn to do his time."

The guards were acquitted of any wrongdoing in the criminal trial after being prosecuted by the state Attorney General's Office on charges of setting up Dillard's rape.

Robertson, bald except for a thin braided ponytail, wore a bright white prison jumpsuit and carried an envelope that he said contained his prison files.

He spent much of the time denying information about his violent prison past, contained in California Department of Corrections files, while being questioned by Bastian.

Robertson, serving a life term without parole for a point-blank killing during a robbery 24 years ago, said he didn't recall ever saying he raped Dillard.

When Bastian read statements from his testimony in the criminal trial and asked if that refreshed his recollection, Robertson responded, "No."

Then, while being questioned by attorney Mark H. Harris, who represents Sylva and Horton-Plant, Robertson was asked about a letter he reportedly wrote to Dillard Oct. 26, 1999, about a week after his criminal trial testimony.

The letter said in part: "You must take responsibility of your own actions. You're about to get 'paid,' but if the truth really comes out I don't think you would get one red cent."

While Robertson evaded most of the questions asked by Bastian, he readily answered questions about "Little E," identified as Dillard, when questioned by attorneys representing the correctional officers.

He was under no pressure to talk about the alleged scheme with Dillard, Robertson said, and he was not working for the California Department of Corrections.

"I don't give a [expletive] about these officers," he testified, asking everyone to pardon his language.

He said that at the time he and Dillard, whose case was one of those highlighted in the national media spotlight when Corcoran gained a reputation as the nation's most violent prison, were both angry at Decker, who was one of the sergeants in the SHU.

He said he told Dillard, "You help me and I'll help you."

But Dillard went to the extreme, Robertson said, going on the news show "60 Minutes" while he remained "locked up" in the SHU, described as a prison within a prison, "because of these unproven allegations."

Robertson has a history of violence and prison rapes dating to 1983, according to prison records.

Bastian said after jurors had left that Robertson's testimony was "absurd . . . he has never disclosed this scheme whatsoever."

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484.
 

© 2002 , The Fresno Bee 



 http://www.heraldnet.com/Stories/03/9/25/17532598.cfm

Published on HeraldNet.com: 9/25/03

California inmate says guards helped arranged sex assaults
 

FRESNO, Calif. -- A lawyer for an inmate who says he was raped in prison said Wednesday that guards deliberately set up the assaults by putting him in a cell with a convicted murderer so notorious for abuse that he was known as the "booty bandit." 

Scheduled witnesses in the federal civil rights case include Wayne Robertson, who has acknowledged raping and torturing Eddie Webb Dillard and said the guards intentionally put Dillard in his cell. 

"They knew what would happen to him," Robertson said at a 1999 criminal trial in which the guards at California State Prison at Corcoran were acquitted. 

Dillard claims three guards violated his civil rights by setting up the rapes over two days in March 1993 to punish him for kicking a guard at another prison. Dillard alleges that the guards -- Robert Decker, Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva -- and now-retired prison medical assistant Kathy Horton-Plant then orchestrated a cover-up by refusing to take him to a hospital and by not filing medical reports. 

"As a result, Mr. Dillard never received medical care," Marina Dini, Dillard's attorney, said in opening statements Wednesday. "There is nothing in the file to document even an allegation. ... The evidence will show this was merely swept under the rug." 

The California Department of Corrections, which would be responsible for any compensatory damages awarded to Dillard, contends the guards and not the agency were at fault, department spokesman Russ Heimerich said. 

Attorneys for the guards said Wednesday that their clients were unaware of any problem between the two inmates, and that Dillard never complained he was in danger.

Jan Kahn, the attorney representing Sanchez, said the two inmates were on friendly terms and spent time together in the yard. 

"While they were out there, they even braided one another's hair," Kahn said Wednesday. 

Department of Corrections attorney Barbara Sheldon concluded in a 2001 affidavit that the defendants "had acted ... with actual malice." Investigators also said in affidavits that Robertson was listed in prison records as an enemy of Dillard. It is against department policy to house inmates with documented enemies. 

Witnesses include former guard Roscoe "Bonecrusher" Pondexter, who testified at the criminal trial under a grant of immunity. He said his fellow officers knew they were endangering Dillard when they left him in a cell with the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Robertson, who is serving a life sentence for murder. 

Dillard's attorney, Robert Bastian, said department records document at least 25 instances in which Robertson assaulted or raped cellmates between April 1983 and November 1997, earning him the "booty bandit" nickname. 

Dillard, who had been in prison for assault with a deadly weapon, was released in 1996 and sent back to prison in 2003 for another assault with a deadly weapon charge. 

The Department of Corrections withdrew its defense of the guards but later agreed to pay for their attorneys in the civil case after the prison guards union argued that refusing to do so violated state law. 
 

Copyright ©2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. 



 http://fresnobee.com/local/crime/v-print/story/7484687p-8400260c.html.

Trial set in assault on inmate

By Jerry Bier
The Fresno Bee
Published 09/22/03 13:48:00

As time passes, the stories diminish about Corcoran State Prison -- stories of its reputation as the state's most dangerous prison, a place where inmates and guards feared for their safety, where prisoners fought "gladiator" battles and officers fired deadly weapons to keep the peace. 
In the past decade, at least a dozen correctional officers -- the most notorious being the so-called "Corcoran Eight" -- have been prosecuted in criminal jury trials and found innocent of prisoner abuse. 

Lawsuits have been won or settled by the state, with payments totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars for wrongful death claims and other abuses alleged by prisoners. 

But one case remains. And it's probably the oldest. 

That is the federal civil complaint filed by inmate Eddie Webb Dillard. 

After years of behind-the-scenes legal battles, his trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii. 

Eleven years ago, Dillard was a skinny Corcoran inmate, placed in the confines of the security housing unit for making a big mistake at another prison -- he kicked a female officer in the shin and earned a reputation among guards as "a loudmouth staff assaulter." 

Dillard claims that is why he was placed into the cell of 6-foot-3, 220-pound convicted killer Wayne Robertson, tagged as "the Booty Bandit" for his sexual attacks on other inmates. 

At the time, Dillard was 23 years old, serving a 10-year term. He was a 5-foot-7, 118-pound Los Angeles gang-banger convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. 

First placed in Calipatria State Prison, he was transferred to Corcoran after the kicking incident. 

Dillard and Robertson were together in the cell from March 5 to March 7, 1993. 

In January 1994, Dillard filed a lawsuit against prison officials and the guards who placed him there. He waited for the case to come to trial as documents filled more than six volumes in the federal court clerk's office in Fresno. 

Although Dillard filed the lawsuit on his own, he now is represented by Los Angeles attorneys Robert L. Bastian Jr. and Marina R. Nini, who came into the case after stories about problems at Corcoran surfaced in the mid-1990s. 

Four guards went on trial in 1999 on criminal charges in Dillard's case and were acquitted by a Hanford jury that deliberated over parts of three days. 

After the verdicts, the jury foreman said the panel concluded there was "just too much reasonable doubt" to convict the officers of deliberately placing Dillard in the cell with Robertson. 

Dillard accused the guards of laughing at his protests about being placed with Robertson. He was attacked twice by the bigger man before he received help, according to the lawsuit. 

Three of the officers named in the lawsuit -- Robert Allan Decker, Anthony J. Sylva and Joe Sanchez -- were acquitted during the trial in Kings County. A fourth, Dale Shawn Brakebill, also was acquitted, but his name was misspelled in Dillard's original civil complaint and he was dropped as a defendant. 

Also named in the lawsuit is Kathy Horton-Plant, a former medical technical assistant who no longer is employed with California Department of Corrections.

Fresno lawyer Katherine L. Hart represented Brakebill in the criminal trial and will represent Decker in the civil trial that begins Tuesday. 

The civil trial will make no mention of the criminal trial held four years ago, Hart said, though some of the same witnesses will testify. 

And it will focus on whether the guards showed "deliberate indifference" toward Dillard's welfare by placing him in the cell with Robertson. 

It will be a vigorous defense, Hart said, insisting that the correctional officers and medical assistant performed "with the utmost dignity." 

The witness list in Dillard's trial includes Richard Caruso, the whistle-blower whose allegations to the FBI led to the indictment of eight correctional officers who were accused of violating prisoners' rights by staging gladiator fights on exercise yards. All the guards were acquitted. 

Robertson, who has admitted he sexually attacked Dillard, also is expected to be called and face questions that he raped unruly inmates as a favor to Corcoran staff. 

But Ishii, in pretrial rulings, told lawyers the Dillard trial is not about Corcoran's reputation, nor is it about the California Department of Corrections. 

"To make the argument that 'this is a corrupt system, these folks must have done it' is highly prejudicial," the judge said, adding that the trial needs to focus on March 5, 6 and 7, 1993, and what Decker, Sylva, Sanchez and Horton-Plant knew or did at that time. 

Corcoran was the focus of national media exposure in the mid-1990s, linked to reports that there were more than 40 inmate shootings there from 1989 to 1995, seven of them fatal. 

The death that sparked the uproar was that of Preston Tate, killed in 1994 by a guard who fired to break up a fight on the exercise yard of the security housing unit. That killing led to the eventual criminal trial of eight Corcoran guards. 

However, before the criminal trial, the state agreed to pay Tate's family $825,000 to settle a civil lawsuit. 

In yet another wrongful-death case, the family of James Kevin Mahoney Jr., who was beaten to death by another inmate on a Corcoran exercise yard in 1999, accepted a $525,000 settlement offer from the state. 

Dillard's is not the first civil trial against Corcoran guards. In a case before Ishii more than two years ago, jurors decided against inmate Marvin Stanton, who charged that guards and administrators at the maximum-security prison did nothing to protect him when he was beaten and shot with wooden blocks during fights on an exercise yard in 1989. 

In the years since he filed his complaint, Dillard completed his original sentence, but while on parole he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, negligent discharge of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to an additional nine to 11 years in custody as part of a "Three Strikes" plea agreement and is being held in North Kern State Prison, which functions as a reception center, in Delano. 

Robertson is now at Pelican Bay State Prison, a maximum security facility in Crescent City. 

In all, Ishii approved subpoenas for nine prisoners, including Dillard and Robertson, to be brought to the trial as possible witnesses. 

The reporter can be reached at  jbier@fresnobee.com  or 441-6484. 
 

© 2002 , The Fresno Bee 



Date: May 17, 2002 

Summary: Recently, a small Los Angeles-based advocacy group, Stop Prisoner Rape, squared off against advertising giant Young & Rubican, and its client, 7 Up, the large soft drink company, owned by Britain's Cadbury Schweepes.  At issue is the propriety of a television commercial making light of prison rape.  Stop Prisoner Rape is right, 7 Up is wrong, as explained in this op-ed piece by Robert Bastian, an attorney who represents prison rape victim Eddie Webb Dillard in his lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
  Anyone doubting prison rape is widely tolerated is invited to review evidence in the Human Rights Watch Report, No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons, released last year.  For example, Eddie Dillard, whose civil rights lawsuit is pending in U.S. District Court, Fresno, is the victim of a recidivist inmate rapist whom California Department of Corrections authorities continued to assign new cellmates, notwithstanding over 25 documented instances of rape or sexual assault on cellmates at six separate California prisons. 

       Stop Prisoner Rape is a small Los Angeles-based advocacy group devoted to addressing this problem.  Recently, Stop Prisoner Rape squared off against advertising giant Young & Rubican, Inc., and its client, 7 Up.  At issue is a television advertising campaign directed primarily at 12-24 year olds. In one ad, comedian Godfrey, poses as a company spokesman handing out 7 Up in a prison.  After dropping a can, he states, "I'm not picking that up." Later, he sits uncomfortably in a cell as a bearded inmate wraps a tattooed arm around him. "When you bring the 7 Up everyone is your friend," the spokesman says. As the cell door slams, he adds, "Okay, that's enough being friends." 

    7 Up's spokesman says the company's sole aim was to create a humorous commercial, not offend anyone.  According to 7 Up, test screenings showed the average person enjoyed the ad, but did not take the rape references seriously.  He concludes, "We understand this is a serious issue" but "we believe the appropriate people to address it are [those] in the criminal justice and corrections systems."  Thus, 7 Up has no plans to, as they say, kill the spot. 

    7 Up is wrong. 

       Elizabeth Noelle-Neuman, a noted social scientist who, in 1947, founded the prestigious German polling organization, the Allensbach Institute, has spent a lifetime studying and explaining how public opinion is formed. In her seminal work, The Spiral of Silence (1984), she elegantly demonstrates how opinions people openly share are powerfully conditioned by innate desires to socially fit in; how, at the deepest levels, opinions people publicly share are shaped by fear of social isolation.  Consequently, people generally express opinions that fall within a range they perceive to be socially acceptable. 

       Implicit in her work is a search for, and explanation how, in a modern, highly educated democracy, officially tolerated human rights abuse and widespread depravity can, nonetheless, occur. Her work suggests there is social danger when outrage, even one cloaked in humor, is met with approval or -- what is sometimes worse -- an aura of approval in the form of silence. 

    Yet, when the consequences of silence in the face of outrage are, through experience and education, widely understood, outrageous ideas are met with appropriate disapproval.  For an extreme example: if, instead, the commercial made light of the actor not following the soda can into a boxcar occupied by terrified internees, the effort would be commonly adjudged not only insensitive, but malevolent.  Likewise, a commercial making light of an intimidating man implicitly threatening to sexually assault a woman should she bend over to retrieve a soda is entirely intolerable.  Regrettably, though, there have been times and places where, if audience screening was the sole determinative factor, such ill-conceived advertising concepts might have passed muster. 

       What's left, now, is a climate in which, while it is unacceptable to trivialize rape, it is acceptable to trivialize rape behind bars.  Not surprisingly, it has also become, in practice, penologically acceptable.  When Dillard escaped from a Corcoran prison cell where he was violated for three days by a sociopath twice his size, correctional officers joked that he got his doughnut glazed.  Now, guards operating at this level of moral awareness might offer the victim 7 Up. 

       While 7 Up would deny being morally implicated in a climate that enables prison rape, it nonetheless spends advertising dollars on the assumption that sharing with 12-24 year olds a chuckle -- that hapless fellows, such as the diminutive Godfrey, are likely to be raped if isolated in prison -- sells sodas. If 7 Up is correct that such shared drollery has measurable influence over young peoples' beverage preferences, it stands to reason it has at least that much influence over their attitudes towards prison rape.  Stop Prisoner Rape rightly fears 7 Up is laying groundwork for another generation of silence in the face of outrage. 

       In 1910, Winston Churchill asserted, "treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilization of any country." In a 2001, 7 Up introduced its ad campaign, featuring, in the company's words, "comedian Godfrey as the brand's new clueless marketing executive . . .[i]n keeping with the campaign's overall theme . . . coming up with exciting and innovative concepts for marketing 7 Up, which ultimately go awry." 

    Stop Prisoner Rape's point, exactly 

By:  Robert L. Bastian, Jr. 
Attorney at the Law Offices of Bastian & Dini (Los Angeles) 
which represents Eddie Webb Dillard 

References: 

Joanne Mariner, "No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons," 
       Human Rights Watch 2001. 

Elizabeth Noelle-Neuman, "The Spiral of Silence", 
       University of Chicago Press (1984). 

Frank Arens, Cracking the Code of Advertising, 
       Washington Post, 3-3-02. 

Barry Shlachter, Inmate advocates chide 7 UP, 
       Star-Telegram, 4-30-02. 

Tamar Lewin, Little Sympathy or Remedy for Inmates who are Raped 
       New York Times, 4-15-01. 

The Dillard case is also discussed in multiple LA Times articles by Mark Arax. (Indeed, his fine work has resulted in Eddie Dillard having a fighting chance in his civil lawsuit.) 

The factual assertions in the second sentence are supported by a Declaration and accompanying exhibits filed in Dillard v. Decker, et al. U.S.D.C. Case No. CV F-94 5048 AWI SMS.  A copy of the declaration is attached as an Appendix to the Human Rights Watch Report referenced above.  A similar declaration is on file in the related case of Decker, et al. v. C.D.C., King County Superior Ct. No. 00C2852 

7 Up Press releases (found at 222.dpsu.com): 

1-4-02, 7 UP `Exposes' Itself to Consumers Through Integrated 
              Advertising and Point-of-Sale marketing Campaign. 

10-31-01, 7 UP Introduces New Spokesman as Part of 
             its 2002 `Make 7 UP Yours' Advertising Campaign. 
 

Robert L. Bastian, Jr., can be reached at:

o: 310-789-1955 
f: 310-822-1989 
e: robbastian@aol.com 
a: Law Offices of Bastian & Dini
1925 Century Park East, Suite 500 
Los Angeles, CA 90067-2700 


 Eddie Dillard Articles

 

Links on Prison Rape
 

 Stop Prison Rape - SPR Organization

 Steve - Prison Bitch

 Stopping Prison Rape - by Joanne Mariner

 Trivializing Prison Rape - by Alex Coolman
 



Updated October 5, 2007

  Three Strikes Legal - Index