United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Glen E. Conrad Chief United States District Judge.
Ray Cooper, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed this
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Cooper
alleges that the defendant prison officials assaulted him,
failed to provide medical care, or failed to protect him from
verbal harassment and other adverse actions in retaliation
for his reports of sexual abuse, all in violation of his
constitutional rights and the Prison Rape Elimination Act
("PREA"). Upon review of the record, the court finds
that the defendants' motion for summary judgment must be
granted on the ground that Cooper failed to exhaust available
is incarcerated at Red Onion State Prison ("Red
Onion"), a high security facility in Pound, Virginia,
operated by the Virginia Department of Corrections
("VDOC") where the alleged violations occurred. In
his verified amended complaint, Cooper sues the following Red
Onion officials: Warden Earl Barksdale, W. Swiney, Tory
Raiford, A. Galihar, Capt. Still, Investigator Bentley, Lt.
Garry Adams, Lt. Kiser, Sgt. Hall, Sgt. Fleming, R. Kegley,
C/O S. Taylor, and C/O Skylar White. As relief, Cooper seeks
monetary and injunctive relief.
55 paragraphs of factual allegations, Cooper's amended
complaint asserts four, unnumbered "LEGAL CLAIMS"
that incorporate these facts. For ease of reference, the
court has separated the factual allegations according to the
claims to which they relate.
1: Excessive force
March 23, 2015, "over an issue of a broken razor
[Cooper] had on his cell table, " Defendants Lt. Adams
and Officer White took Cooper to Adams' office, where
they exposed tattoos on his body,  called him "faggot,
child molester, cocksucker, " and took turns punching
him in the chest. (Am. Compl. 6, ECF No. 22.) Cooper says he
made a PREA hotline call to report this incident. Cooper
asserts that the officers' actions violated his rights
under the Eighth Amendment.
2: Excessive force and denial of medical care
April 12, 2015, after Officer S. Taylor found a magazine
photograph of Selena Gomez in Cooper's cell, Sgt. Hall
had Cooper brought to the lieutenant's office, called him
a "cocksucking child molester, " and then slapped
Cooper's left ear with a cupped hand, causing permanent
hearing loss. (Id. 7.) Cooper's requests for
medical attention went unanswered. Cooper says he made a PREA
call to report this incident, and officers failed to follow
VDOC PREA protocols for investigation and separation of Sgt.
Hall from Cooper's area. Cooper asserts that the assault
and denial of medical care for his hearing loss violated his
rights under the Eighth Amendment.
3: Excessive force
October 7, 2015, White told Cooper to "shut up child
molester and suck my dick." (Id. 13.) Cooper
filed an emergency grievance stating that White's conduct
constituted "sexual advances, " but White threw the
document to another officer and cuffed and shackled Cooper to
move him to another cell. Rather than enter the new cell,
Cooper balled himself up on the floor. White, Adams, and
Taylor then picked Cooper up and threw him into the cell.
White also "attempted to punch Cooper in his testicles,
" and "they then stomped Cooper's legs and
feet, slammed the door on his feet numerous times, then used
a 'leash' attached to the cuffs to yank Cooper
backwards off the floor and thr[ough] the tray slot and feed
box." (Id. 14.) These actions "caus[ed]
severe damage that scarred Cooper's arms, " and a
nurse provided treatment. (Id.) Officials then
brought seven false disciplinary charges against Cooper
related to this incident, one alleging that "Cooper
caused his own injuries with his fingernails."
(Id.) Cooper asserts that the officers'
assaultive actions violated his rights under the Eighth
4: Supervisory failure to protect Cooper's rights
March 23 and October 18, 2015, many supervisory defendants
deliberately "fail[ed] to protect Cooper from a long
series of sexual harassment" and "allowed those
officials under their command to continue to violate"
Cooper's constitutional rights to due process and equal
protection and his rights under PREA. (Id. 16-17.)
In addition to the incidents described in Claims 1-3, Cooper
alleges numerous other events in support of Claim 4, as
March or April 2015, White threatened to take Cooper and his
cell mate, Dalton McCray, to a utility closet and stick broom
sticks in their anuses if McCray did not withdraw a grievance
Cooper had helped him file about White. McCray withdrew his
grievance and later made a PREA report about White's
threat, but the investigator believed the officer's
story. On May 4, 2015, Lt. Adams and Tori Raiford separated
Cooper and McCray by moving Cooper to a cell with Richard
Dunn, an inmate serving a life sentence who hates sex
offenders. White allegedly told Dunn to "handle ...