GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Gwinnett County taxpayers could be on the hook if a transgender man wins a lawsuit he filed, after he was allegedly sexually assaulted by a deputy while in jail.
Former Deputy Duane Clark, 40, was fired and arrested for sexual assault of the inmate and violation of oath by a public officer following the 2012 incident. The now former inmate said the sexual assaults happened repeatedly for almost a month while he was in the jail during January 2012.
"When the guard confronted him, my client said he wasn't interest in doing what he wanted him to do. He told him that this was his pod and he would do what he told him to do," said attorney Jeff Sliz.
Sliz is the attorney for the former inmate, who was recently released from prison. Channel 2 Action News is not revealing the former inmate's identity because he is an alleged victim of sexual assault.
"He was violated by his protector," Sliz said.
In addition to suing Clark, Sliz and his client are also suing Sheriff Butch Conway, and Gwinnett County.
In the federal lawsuit: "Defendant Gwinnett County, which knew or should have known that transgender inmates are at greater risk of sexual assault by detention officers, was deliberately indifferent to the risk of harm to Plaintiff by not having policies and procedures in place to address that risk other than State Law penal statues."
For example, Sliz claimed no one was monitoring the surveillance cameras for the pod and there was not an second corrections officer assigned to the area.
"They had it set up to monitor these people but they just didn't do it," Sliz said.
"Immediately following this inmate's allegation, Duone Clarke was placed on Administrative Leave. At the conclusion of the subsequent investigation, Duone Clarke was terminated and our agency obtained criminal arrest warrants. I cannot provide further information due to the pending legal action," said Gwinnett County Sheriff's Deputy Shannon Volkodav.