Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Inmate claims abuse once again

By John Frank, Times Staff Writer

Published Monday, November 10, 2008 6:53 PM


BROOKSVILLE — A federal immigration detainee with a history of filing frivolous lawsuits claims that Hernando County jail officers repeatedly beat and threatened him, according to court documents.

Jean-Henriquez Librun, 41, filed a petition Thursday in Circuit Court for an emergency injunction against Hernando County Jail Warden Russell Washburn and three other top jail officials.

In the hand-written petition, the Miami-area man says he was "subject to the use of unjustified physical force" and denied medical treatment in retaliation for filing grievances and complaints against Hernando jail officers, the filing states.

Furthermore, he asserts jail personnel are not allowing him to send legal correspondence and threatened to kill him.

The allegations mirror a civil rights complaint filed the same day in federal court in Tampa. It was dismissed Monday because Librun failed to pay the filing fee.

Librun, whose criminal record dates to 1987, is in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He is one of about 220 ICE detainees being housed at the Hernando jail on a contract between the federal government and the private company that runs the facility off Spring Hill Drive.

Librun arrived at the Hernando jail Oct. 1 after he claimed he was beaten and sexually assaulted at a facility in Glades County, court records indicate.

He has frequently filed lawsuits alleging abuse. Between 1994 and 1998, he filed 27 lawsuits. In the last two months, he's filed five more. All those not pending were dismissed on the merits or legal technicalities.

ICE officials in Miami did not return calls for comment on his custody status.

Washburn said Librun's claims are under review by ICE officials, and he couldn't comment specifically.

But he did suggest that he and his officers would be cleared. "I do not anticipate any procedural violations on our part," the warden said. "We don't abuse any inmates or detainees in our custody."

Staff researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. John Frank can be reached at jfrank@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6114.

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