A former inmate filed a $25,000 lawsuit against the Franklin County Sheriff's Office on Friday, claiming his civil rights were violated when deputies allegedly enlisted him to tamper with another inmate's food.
It is alleged that Deputies Joseph Cantwell and Phillip Barnett forced inmate Todd Triplett to place his penis on a sandwich before it was fed to an unsuspecting inmate, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported.
The alleged incident occurred in late February at the downtown Franklin County Jail.
Franklin County Sheriff Jim Karnes said that Cantwell and Barnett have been terminated from their positions, Kocot reported.
In addition to losing his job, Cantwell also faces criminal charges in connection with the case.
Triplett told 10TV News that is still humiliated by the incident.
"I walk down the street and I see people look at me because I've been on the news and they judge me," he said. "Really I didn't mean any harm. I've never hurt anyone."
Triplett is seeking $25,000 in damages, Kocot reported.
The lawsuit alleges that the deputies threatened to put Triplett "in the hole" if he did not comply with their orders. The suit also claims that the deputies used a cell phone to take pictures of the act.
"This was a big joke to them," said attorney Byron Potts, who is representing Triplett. "Then they had the audacity to film it. I've seen the picture."
Potts said he has received phone calls from other inmates who claim that they were the targets of hazing but did not come forward because they feared no one would believe them.
"The people that are incarcerated don't really have voice," Potts said "They don't have someone to champion their cause."
The attorney representing the inmate who was allegedly forced to eat the tainted sandwich said he is also preparing a lawsuit.
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March 27, 2009:
Deputy Charged In
Food Tampering Case
March 24, 2009: Sheriff Calls Food Tampering Allegations 'Disheartening'
March 24, 2009: Mother Says Jail Guards Took Punishment To New Low
March 23, 2009: Sheriff's Office Probes Food Tampering Allegation