Jail inmates kept naked sue Ga. sheriff

Jan. 31, 2011 at 10:09 AM
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ROME, Ga., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Two jail inmates are suing a Georgia sheriff for being kept naked in a cell block for 12 hours.

"It was a physical strain with the coldness, the shaking and shivering," David Bennett told The Dalton Daily Citizen. "It was complete humiliation."

The inmates also had to spread a cream on their bodies.

Inmates Bennett and Jesus Gallardo have filed suit in U.S. District Court in Rome, Ga., against Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood and six of his staff, seeking $5 million in punitive damages for civil rights violations.

Capt. Wesley Lynch, who runs the jail, said the inmates were made to disrobe for delousing.

"There was an outbreak of body lice in one of the cell blocks, and everything in the cell block had to be decontaminated," he said. "The application of the ointment was to kill the scabies. Lice become embedded in the skin, and covering the skin with that lotion kills them."

He said two jail employees were disciplined.

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