Lawsuit: Man's genitals burned in Denver's jail

1:00 AM, Sep 10, 2012   |    comments
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"It's much harder to be intimate with my wife," Jamal Hunter said. "I do have some difficulties. "My skin was basically burned off. My waist, my genitals. There is scarring that will be there for the rest of my life."

9Wants To Know has learned that a supervising deputy at Denver's jail is also under investigation and is facing discipline in the case.

Hunter, 38, is suing the city and county of Denver through federal court for a civil rights violation. He claims he filed written complaints to the jail, saying he was "misclassified" and was forced to share units with violent offenders. Hunter alleges that his complaints went ignored.

"It's embarrassing," Hunter said in an interview with 9Wants to Know. "I feel slighted."

Hunter claims that in July 2011, three inmates tied him up with rope and severely beat him while pouring scalding water on his groin. Hunter was behind bars for a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

The city would not disclose reports, photos or video evidence in the case to 9NEWS. They said it was not in the public's best interest because of a pending "internal investigation."

Records obtained by Hunter's attorneys that were viewed by 9Wants to Know show an investigating officer in the case documented second and third degree burn injuries on Hunter's groin area while he was in the hospital.

"Denver is running a torture chamber in their jail," said Hunter's attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai. "Inmates have access to ropes, to boiling water - readily available to abuse each other without any monitoring or supervision."

The investigating officer also noted a hot water tap in the vicinity of Hunter's unit. A sergeant in the investigating officer's report admitted the water "does indeed get hot enough to burn skin."

The investigating officer expressed concern about inmates' access to the hot tap spigot and called it an "officer safety issue." He also said another attack could happen to either inmates or a deputy if "this issue was not corrected."

The Denver Sheriff's Department sent to 9Wants to Know the following statement:

"We are aware of the incident involving Jamal Hunter which occurred at the Downtown Detention Center. Mr. Hunter alleged that he was assaulted by two inmates who were housed in his unit. Mr. Hunter refused to press criminal charges against the inmates he claimed assaulted him and other potential witnesses have not cooperated with our investigation. The case is still under investigation for procedural violations against the Deputy who was responsible for supervision of the unit. "

- Director and Undersheriff Gary Wilson

Hunter said he didn't file charges while he was in jail because he feared for his safety. A refusal to prosecute form Hunter signed shows he just wanted the jail to review its classification of inmates policy.

Have a comment or tip for investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola? Call him at 303-871-1425 or e-mail him
jeremy.jojola@9news.com


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