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Prisons failed to protect against murderer Wade’s sexual assault, lawsuit alleges

By KTVA Alaska 11:06 PM July 15, 2013

Known only in court filings as ‘BFS,’ man claims Wade and others sexually assaulted him behind bars

ANCHORAGE – Failure to protect him from violent criminals, including Joshua Wade: that’s what the man known only in court documents as “B.F.S.” alleges the State of Alaska Department of Corrections is guilty of. He’s filed a lawsuit against DOC in civil court seeking $100,000 for pain and suffering.

In the lawsuit, which has been working its way through Alaska courts since 2011, attorneys representing B.F.S. said the case goes all the way back to 2009. That’s when Joshua Wade — one of Anchorage’s most infamous murderers, who confessed to two brutal killings in 2010 to avoid the death penalty—was sitting in a Washington state prison. At the time, he had already been acquitted of one violent murder, and was awaiting trial for the killing of Mindy Schloss.

While there, Wade was kept in special housing away from other inmates because of “temper” and “rage” issues, including the attempted assaults of other inmates; a housing decision corroborated in court documents by a signed letter from the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, Washington by Warden Robert T. Palmquist.

When Wade returned to Anchorage, however, Alaska DOC admits he was placed in general population at the Anchorage Correctional Center. That’s where B.F.S.’ lawyers said the state failed. In May 2009, B.F.S. claims Wade sexually assaulted him when Wade lured him into his cell and forced him to perform a sexual act, under threat the “he would quote never see his family again.” A “notorious” criminal like Wade, lawyers bringing the suit argue, should never have been allowed such access to other inmates.

B.F.S. reported the incident and provided a corrections officer on duty with DNA evidence, but B.F.S.’ attorneys allege it was not preserved; attorneys general familiar with the case, however, said the DNA evidence was collected and remains intact and in the posession of DOC’s crime lab. Wade was then separated from other prisoners, a move B.F.S.’s lawyers said should have been the case from the beginning.

The lawsuit also claims this wasn’t the first time Wade had assaulted B.F.S., mentioning another incident dating to 2003 when both men were temporarily housed in Arizona as prisoners of Alaska DOC.

Further, the suit alleges Wade isn’t the only inmate B.F.S. claimed the state failed to protect him from. Also named as a perpetrator is Sabil Mujahid, an inmate with a history of violent crimes, including sex trafficking. While Mujahid was serving time for those crimes, he was also convicted in 2010 of abusing three inmates, including B.F.S., and was sentenced to an additional 40 years for those crimes. In the suit, lawyers allege that Mujahid not only sexually assaulted B.F.S., but was also able to request—and have that request granted—that B.F.S. be housed with him.

In all, lawyers have brought eight “claims of action” against the Department of Corrections in the civil suit, ranging from negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and spoliation of evidence. In virtually all claims, lawyers for B.F.S. claim DOC owed their client a “duty of care” and failed to manage the prison population in a way that promoted “safety and order.”

In court papers the State of Alaska Department of Corrections asserts it hasn’t done anything wrong, objecting to 22 of 29 requests of admission by B.F.S.’ lawyers. Among the state’s refutation, they write that: claims that Wade’s murder trial “garnered significant media attention” are “vague;” that the “special housing unit” that isolated Wade from other inmates while imprisoned in Washington state is “undefined and vague;” and that the medical condition known as fetal alcohol syndrome (a syndrome that B.F.S. has been diagnosed with) is a term that is “undefined and vague.”

Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Woodman said Monday he was familiar with the case, and that the state Monday filed a motion for summary judgment, essentially throwing out all the of the claims by B.F.S. and his lawyers. He said, in the state’s opinion, none of the sexual assaults occurred.

In the lawsuit, B.F.S. is listed alongside another plaintiff, known only as R.H. Attorneys for the plaintiffs said R.H. was also sexually assaulted by Mujahid. Woodman said the Department of Law has acknowledged that an assault on R.H. took place, but what that means for the civil lawsuit—and the damages R.H. and his lawyers are seeking — remains unknown.

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