Conal Doyle was retained to act as lead trial counsel just prior to trial, after the international law firm Paul Hastings litigated the case pro bono for approximately three years. The plaintiff was a woman who fled her home country of Uganda after suffering atrocities at the hands of the Ugandan military. She sought asylum from the United States, and was promptly imprisoned by the federal government and sent to the Elizabeth Detention Center, in New Jersey, a federal facility run by a private corrections company (CCA).
While in detention, she was raped by Michael Baisden, a CCA employee with a violent criminal past, who had been permitted to supervise female detainees at the correctional facility. Baisden was convicted of rape and served three years in prison as a result of his assault of the Plaintiff. Nevertheless, CCA denied liability, alleging that the sexual encounter was “consensual” despite the fact that New Jersey law provides that a detainee can never provide consent to sex with a guard due to the obvious power imbalance between the parties. CCA entered into a confidential settlement with the Plaintiff after Mr. Doyle entered an appearance in the case and conducted expert depositions.