Three years after gay burglar Roderick Johnson sued Texas prison officials, contending that they failed to protect him from being sold as a sex slave and repeatedly raped by other inmates for 18 months, his lawsuit is headed for trial, reports the Associated Press. Jury selection is to begin today in federal court in Wichita Falls, Tx. In the case, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. Johnson seeks unspecified damages from seven Texas officials.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the officials could be sued for discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice argued to the appeals court that prison officials were immune from damage suits because the law did not clearly establish whether their conduct violated Johnson’s rights. Johnson, who was released in 2003, says that was raped almost daily for 18 months in a Texas prison near Wichita Falls.