DOC officials, inmate who sued agree to dismiss suit

Department of Corrections officials and the inmate, who is suing them for allegedly subjecting him to solitary confinement and not giving him adequate mental health treatment, have agreed to drop the case.

Inmate Jerry Ray, through counsel Jeanne H. Rayphand, and DOC officials, through assistant attorney general Hessel Yntema, agreed to ask the U.S. District Court for the NMI to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice. That means Ray can no longer re-file the case.

The terms of the settlement agreement were not disclosed.

In his lawsuit, Ray said he has been a prisoner at DOC since 2012 and that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment from June 19, 2016 to May 7, 2018.

He demanded payment of $100 a day, for a total of $65,000, for the period he was allegedly subjected to solitary confinement and provided with inadequate mental health treatment at DOC.

Rayphand, of the Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems Inc., asked the court to declare that the segregation, isolation, solitary confinement, and the step-down process to which Ray was subjected at DOC constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

Ray sued DOC Commissioner Vincent S. Attao, Division of Corrections director Gregory Castro, then-acting commissioner Georgia M. Cabrera, pre-trial operations captain Pius P. Yaroitemal, operation commander David Deleon Guerrero, and classification officer Cynthia B. Santos.

Attao and his co-defendants have denied Ray’s allegations.

The claims against Cabrera, Yaroitemal, and Deleon Guerrero have already been dismissed.

Ray, a habitual offender, has been an inmate of DOC since 2012 after he was convicted of burglary.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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