Corrections Officer Found Not Liable in 'Booty Bandit' Trial; Verdict Undermines Accountability in Corrections, SPR Says
October 22, 2003
LOS ANGELES - A Fresno jury on Tuesday cleared three
corrections officers of liability in the March 1993 "Booty Bandit" rape of
inmate Eddie Webb Dillard by a fellow prisoner, a verdict the nonprofit
human rights group Stop Prisoner Rape (PR) said "undermines
accountability for sexual assault behind bars."
The jury found that corrections officers Robert Allan
Decker, Joe Sanchez and Anthony Sylva were not negligent in placing
Dillard in a Corcoran State Prison cell with a convicted murder and known
sexual predator. Dillard's attorneys contended that their client was
placed in the cell with Wayne Robertson as punishment for kicking a female
Lara Stemple, SPR's executive director, said the
verdict demonstrates the tremendous obstacles that victims of prisoner
rape face when seeking justice through the courts.
"The evidence in this case was powerful," Stemple said.
"Dillard was placed in a cell with a man 100 pounds heavier than he was, a
man known to have raped or assaulted at least 25 other inmates. Dillard
was raped, and he was denied medical treatment after being attacked. If
the jury felt the evidence wasn't compelling enough to find the officers
negligent, it only underscores the problematic nature of the way our
judicial system treats prisoner rape. What happened to Eddie Dillard was