United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter was tried before the Court, sitting without a jury, on
June 27, 2016. Having considered the testimony and evidence
presented at trial, arguments of counsel, the applicable
burden of proof, the pre-trial and post-trial briefing and
the applicable law, the Court issues the following Findings
of Fact and Conclusions of Law in accordance with Rule 52(a)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
case arises out of Plaintiff's claims that Sergeant
Christopher Metz sexually assaulted Plaintiff and used
excessive force against Plaintiff while incarcerated at
Louisiana State Penitentiary on March 13, 2013. On December
18, 2013, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 claiming that Defendant's conduct amounted to
excessive force and sexual assault in violation of his Eighth
Amendment rights. Defendant submitted an Answer denying the
allegations; however, he failed to plead qualified immunity -
an affirmative defense. Plaintiff later filed a Motion for
Summary Judgment on the issue of liability, which went
unopposed by Defendant. (R. Doc. 36). The Court denied
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment on June 10, 2015.
(R. Doc. 44). The case proceeded to a bench trial on June 27,
all times relevant, Plaintiff, Felton Lagarde, was an adult
inmate incarcerated by the State of Louisiana.
March 13, 2013, Plaintiff was an inmate housed at the
Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola) working as an Orderly
in the lobby area. (R. Doc. 80 at 29).
March 13, 2013, Defendant, Sergeant Christopher Metz, was
employed as a corrections officer by the Louisiana Department
of Public Safety and Corrections and assigned to Angola.
an Orderly, Plaintiff's duties included, among other
things, cleaning the lobby area on the first and second
floor, cleaning after meals and ensuring that there were
enough plates set out for the next meal. (R. Doc. 80 at 64,
March 13, 2013, Plaintiff was on his knees counting the
number of plates at the steam table on the first floor to
ensure there were enough for the next meal. (R. Doc. 80 at
While kneeling at the steam table, Defendant approached
Plaintiff and the two men engaged in joking and conversation.
(Pl.'s Exhibit No. 1 at 2, 4). During the conversation,
Defendant exposed his penis, grabbed Plaintiff's head and
ordered Plaintiff to suck his penis. (R. Doc. 80 at 67);
(Pl.'s Exhibit No. 1 at 5). Plaintiff jerked his head
away from Defendant's grasp and ran upstairs. (R. Doc. 80
Defendant followed Plaintiff upstairs (R. Doc. 80 at 67) and
Plaintiff retreated to the upstairs bathroom to get away from
Defendant. (R. Doc. 80 at 67). While still in the bathroom,
Plaintiff relieved himself at the urinal.
Meanwhile, Defendant retrieved a broom and then went to the
bathroom to find Plaintiff. Upon entering the bathroom,
Defendant found Plaintiff relieving himself at the urinal.
While Plaintiff was still urinating, Defendant used the
broomstick to poke Plaintiff in the buttocks while calling
Plaintiff a ‘hoe' and instructing Plaintiff to suck
Defendant's penis. (R. Doc. 80 at 31, 67). Defendant then
wedged the broomstick down the back of Plaintiff's pants
and in between Plaintiff's bare butt cheeks, attempting
to penetrate Plaintiff's anus. (R. Doc. 80 at 70-71);
(Pl.'s Exhibit No. 1 at 2, 4, 5). Plaintiff was able to
shove the broomstick aside before the broomstick could make
contact with or penetrate his anus. (R. Doc. 80 at 68, 71);
(Pl.'s Exhibit No. 8). Plaintiff then ran out of the
bathroom and down the stairs. (Pl.'s Exhibit No. 1 at 4).
Sometime later that day, Defendant found Plaintiff
downstairs, took Plaintiff to the ground (Pl.'s Exhibit
No. 1 at 9, 11), sat on top of Plaintiff, called Plaintiff a
‘bitch' and ordered Plaintiff to apologize to
Defendant. (R. Doc. 80 at 69); (Pl.'s Exhibit No. 1 at 2,
4). Defendant then stood up and let Plaintiff leave.
(Pl.'s Exhibit No. 1 at 4).
Plaintiff did not suffer any serious physical trauma or
injury as a result of Defendant's conduct. Plaintiff did
not suffer any physical trauma or injury, to his anus or
otherwise, as a result of Defendant wedging a ...