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Former inmate beaten up by Cook County Jail guard speaks out: 'I just felt helpless'

Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Fox 32
by Dane Placko

His beating at the hands of a Cook County Jail guard was caught on tape.

Now, the former inmate is speaking out for the first time about the attack that resulted in criminal charges against a correctional officer.

"I just felt helpless, defenseless, like I couldn't do nothing,” said Litroy Bolton.

Bolton spoke out for the first time Monday about the beating captured on video inside Division Eight at the Cook County Jail in January of 2014.

Bolton was being held on a marijuana charge that was later dismissed. He says he was ordered by correctional officer Miguel Ortiz to go into a cell that another officer had told him was under quarantine.

When he refused to go into that cell and asked for a supervisor, he says Ortiz snapped.

"He approached me. I was nervous because...I didn't want to get beat up. So I instantly just jumped on the ground. Tried to get away from him, and he tried to reach and grab me because I was nervous. Then all of a sudden he just got to punching me all over my face, all over my head,” said Bolton.

Bolton says he filed a grievance about the beating the following day, but wasn't contacted by sheriff's investigators until nine months later.

Finally, last week, two and a half years after the attack, prosecutors charged Ortiz with one felony count of official misconduct.

Bolton’s lawyers say the slow pace of the investigation allowed Ortiz to assault other inmates as well.

"From January 2014, after he assaulted Mr. Bolton, to February 2015, when he was de-deputized, he assaulted ten other inmates at Cook County Jail, including an inmate who was on suicide watch,” said Bolton’s attorney Vince Field.

But sheriff's spokesperson Cara Smith says that's absolutely false: "It's a helpful narrative for their lawsuit, but not supported by the facts. We were immediately concerned about this case and brought it to the State's Attorney’s office for charges long before Bolton's lawyers (became involved)."

In May, Bolton filed a lawsuit against the sheriff's office. However, it was filed after the statute of limitations had expired.

His lawyer’s say they will argue in court that the reason it's past the statute of limitations is that investigators purposely dragged out their investigation so that he wouldn't be able to file on time.

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