Judge nixes $500K punitive award against ex-prison guard

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A federal judge has overturned a jury’s decision imposing $500,000 in punitive damages against a former a Delaware prison guard accused of sexually assaulting an inmate during a pat-down.

The jury in December found that former guard William Kuschel violated the Eighth Amendment rights of inmate DeShawn Drumgo during the 2014 incident.

The jury awarded Drumgo $1 in nominal damages but slapped Kuschel with $500,000 in punitive damages.

The judge on Wednesday denied Kuschel’s request for a new trial but also declared that the punitive award was excessive. He reduced the punitive damages to $5,000.

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