A federal court jury yesterday awarded $405,000 to a man who alleged that three Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies assaulted him in jail, pepper-spraying his anus and groin, the Los Angeles Times reports. Alejandro Franco, a 23-year-old inmate at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility at the time of the alleged 2007 attack, told jurors that the deputies escorted him from his cell to an outdoor recreational center, where he said he was struck multiple times.
The deputies, none of whom are still on active duty, were upset with him, Franco said, because he had cursed at one after being declined fresh laundry. When Franco refused to apologize, he said deputies pulled his boxers down and assaulted him with the pepper spray. “I felt hollow inside,” said Franco, who described the alleged incident as a sexual assault. One deputy placed a Taser near Franco’s head and revved it, the former inmate testified. “Boo,” Franco recalled him saying to the laughter of the others.