A sex offender has been awarded a record sum for the life-changing injuries he suffered at the hands of US prison guards.
Ohio will pay Seth Fletcher £17.5 million (£12.9 million) after the 21-year-old was left paralysed from the chest down.
Fletcher was handcuffed when guards at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution found a cigarette which they suspected was laced with drugs on him on April 3 last year.
As they took him to another wing, Fletcher tried to pull away and corrections officer Christopher Coy tackled him to the ground.
The inmate said he couldn’t move his legs and knew something was wrong, but he was dragged to a bed in a suicide watch cell via a clinic, segregation unit and the yard, where he was dropped multiple times, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
He was checked on at 2.22am but his complaint that he couldn’t move was ignored.
A psychologist visited at 9.49am and summoned medical help and Fletcher underwent emergency spinal surgery at a hospital.
Garrett Osbon, one of the guards who handled Fletcher, bragged about his brutality, claiming to have waterboarded him.
Investigations found water was poured on his face and up his nose after he begged for water.
Osbon, who has since resigned, wrote in text messages: ‘The dude I broke his nose is now paralyzed with a broken neck, and they say his face looks like he had been dropped and dragged through concrete, LMAO.
‘It feels good to know that I played a small part in paralyzing a cho, LMAO.’
‘Cho’ or ‘chomo’ is a prison slang term for child molester and ‘lmao’ is an abbreviation for ‘laughing my a*** off’.
The million-dollar settlement will go towards adapting his mum April Jacobsen’s home to be wheelchair-accessible so she can eventually care for her son there.
Fletcher’s lawyer Geoffrey Fieger said: ‘The torture and crippling of a prisoner in America sounds medieval. Yet it happened, here, in America, in 2020.
‘As horrific as this case is, I want to thank the Ohio attorney general’s office and Governor Dewine for accepting responsibility in this most horrific of cases. This abuse should never happen again.’
Fletcher, then aged 18, was jailed in 2018 for two years for pandering sexually-oriented material involving minors.
His attorneys said the crime involved a consensually made videotape with his girlfriend, who was a couple of years younger than Fletcher.
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