September 19, 2005

Prison Sex Slave Trial Going On Now in Wichita Falls

September 19, 2005.  During the 18 months he was incarcerated on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's All red Unit, Roderick Johnson was bought and sold by prison gangs who raped, abused, and degraded him nearly every day.  Johnson repeatedly asked  to be transferred to safekeeping, protective custody, or another prison to escape the abuse, but prison officials denied his requests, instead telling him to either "fight or f---."

Johnson, who is represented by attorneys with the ACLU's National Prison Project, filed suit in federal court alleging that the prison officials who failed to protect him from harm violated his constitutional rights.  The trial in Johnson v. Wathen began September 19 at the Federal Courthouse in Wichita Falls, Texas, located at 1000 Lamar Street, before U.S. District Court Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn in courtroom 222.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics, prisoners in Texas reported six times as many allegations of prisoner-on-prisoner sexual violence than in any other state.

For more information on male rape in U.S. prisons, see Human Rights Watch's 2001 Report, No Escape:  Male Rape in U.S. Prisons.