United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
R. Sickel, Magistrate United States District Judge.
Jesus Rangel, who is currently serving a state prison
sentence at Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility
and representing himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated.
Plaintiff has filed an amended complaint seeking to add
Corrections Field Supervisor William Francis as a defendant.
The court will screen Plaintiff's amended complaint.
of the Amended Complaint
court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous
or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b). A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Hutchinson ex
rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997).
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, Plaintiff is required to provide a “short and
plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter “that is plausible on
its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The court accepts the factual
allegations as true and liberally construes them in the
plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 651 (7th Cir. 2013). Nevertheless, the complaint's
allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).
of the Amended Complaint
alleges that while he was on extended supervision in
Milwaukee County case number 04CF3504, Plaintiff was sexually
assaulted by his parole agent, Jessica Lorum. He claims that
he was forced to have sexual intercourse with her two or
three times per week, and she threatened to revoke his
supervision and physically harm Plaintiff and his child if he
refused. Plaintiff pressed charges against Lorum in Milwaukee
County, and Lorum pled guilty of misconduct in public office
in violation of Wis.Stat. § 946.12(1) and § 393.50.
asserts Neil Thoreson, the Regional Chief for the Milwaukee
Office of the Division of Community Corrections, was aware
that Lorum had sexual relations with other parolees that she
supervised and had a habit of violating DCC polices
prohibiting probation agents form such acts. He also claims
William Francis, the Corrections Field Supervisor, had
knowledge of Lorum's wrongful acts and facilitated those
activities. As a result of the defendants' actions,
Plaintiff asserts that he suffers from psychological injuries
and is in constant fear of retaliation against him or his
child. He seeks monetary relief as damages.
amended complaint is sufficient to state a claim against
Lorum because sexual harassment by a state employee is an
actionable form of sex discrimination in violation of the
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. See
Valentine v. City of Chicago, 452 F.3d 670, 826 (7th
Cir. 2006) (“Victims of sexual harassment by a state
employer or employee can seek redress under § 1983 of
the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983.”);
Locke v. Haessig, 788 F.3d 662, 667 (7th Cir. 2015)
(affirming denial of qualified immunity for supervisor of
parole agent who failed to respond to complaints by plaintiff
parolee that agent was sexually harassing him). Since a
person serving parole is still under sentence of the court,
it would appear that sexual abuse by a probation or parole
agent could also constitute cruel and unusual punishment in
violation of the Eighth Amendment, which is applicable to the
states through the Fourteenth Amendment. See Schwenk v.
Hartford, 204 F.3d 1187, 1197 (9th Cir. 2000) (“In
the simplest and most absolute of terms, the Eighth Amendment
right of prisoners to be free from sexual abuse was
unquestionably clearly established prior to the time of this
alleged assault, and no reasonable prison guard could
possibly have believed otherwise.”). Plaintiff's
allegation that Lorum threatened him with revocation if he
refused to engage in sexual intercourse with her while she
was acting as his parole agent is sufficient to state a claim
under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Plaintiff's claims against Thoreson and Francis, a
supervisor may be held liable for a subordinate's sexual
harassment if the plaintiff alleges “intentional sex
discrimination or a conscious failure to protect the
plaintiff from abusive conditions created by subordinates
amounting to intentional discrimination.” See
Locke, 788 F.3d at 667 (citing Valentine, 452
F.3d at 683-84; T.E. v. Grindle, 599 F.3d 583, 588
(7th Cir. 2010)). “The supervisor must know about the
conduct and facilitate it, approve it, condone it, or turn a
blind eye for fear of what they might see.”
Jones v. City of Chicago, 856 F.2d 985, 992
(7th Cir. 1998); see also Kernats v. O'Sullivan,
35 F.3d 1171, 1182 (7th Cir. 1994) (“Supervisory
liability may attach . . . where a supervisor, with knowledge
of a subordinate's conduct, approves of the conduct and
the basis for it.”). Here, Plaintiff asserts that
Thoreson and Francis, Lorum's supervisors, were aware of
her conduct but did not take steps to prevent it from
continuing. In short, Plaintiff may proceed on his claims
against these defendants.
will therefore be able to proceed on the following claims: a
claim against Lorum for forcing Plaintiff to have sexual
intercourse with her and claims against Thoreson and Francis
for failing to supervise, both arising under the Fourteenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the United States Marshal
shall serve a copy of the amended complaint and this order
upon William Francis pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 4. Plaintiff is advised that Congress requires the
U.S. Marshals Service to charge for making or attempting such
service. 28 U.S.C. § 1921(a). The current fee for
waiver-of-service packages is $8.00 per item mailed. The full
fee schedule is provided at 28 C.F.R. §§
0.114(a)(2)-(3). Although Congress requires the court to
order service by the U.S. Marshals Service precisely because
in forma pauperis plaintiffs are indigent, it has
not made any provision for these fees to be waived either by
the court or by the U.S. Marshals Service.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendants shall file a