Moral Low Ground


Judge: NY Inmate Bitten on Penis by Rat May Sue

January 13, 2011 by Brett Wilkins in Crime & Punishment with 0 Comments


A federal judge has ruled than a man who claims he was bitten on the penis by a rat while serving time in a New York jail may proceed with a federal civil rights lawsuit against county officials who the inmate says should have provided better pest control.

US District Judge Arthur Spatt denied Nassau County’s motion for dismissal, ruling that the former prisoner, Peter Solomon, had proven that there were sufficient inmate grievances regarding rodent infestation in the East Meadow Jail for the lawsuit to proceed.

Peter Solomon, a Vietnam veteran in his 50s, was serving time for menacing his wife. He says he was lying in bed one night when a rat “or similar rodent” crawled out of a hole in his mattress and bit him on his penis and his hand. He then had to undergo a painful course of rabies shots. Solomon’s lawyer says he suffered emotional distress and now has “complete sexual dysfunction.”

There have been 11 formal inmate complaints about rodents in the 23 months leading up to Solomon’s unfortunate injury. Fifty inmates also signed a petition complaining about the rodent infestation.

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