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Taxpayers on the hook for nearly $1M after Angola guard sexually assaulted inmate

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BATON ROUGE - Three years after a federal jury awarded a $750,000 judgment to Tony Johnson for what he endured at the hands of an Angola guard, the state has yet to pay up. That judgement is accruing interest each day the state does not pay.

WBRZ typically does not identify victims of sexual abuse, but in this case, Johnson asked for his story to be told.

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Johnson was an inmate at Angola after he was convicted as a principal to manslaughter in 1996. He said he refused to testify against a relative who committed the killing and was prosecuted. He served his time and was released in 2016.

In 2014, he says he was subjected to multiple sexual assaults by Lieutenant Tyler Holliday.

"When I got to Camp D, they assigned me to a grass crew job," Johnson recalled. "I was working the job, and one day I was coming and there was a lieutenant named Holliday. He approached me in an unprofessional way and said I had big lips... some big d***-sucking lips."

Johnson said Holliday pulled him out of his dorm on eight different occasions and forced him to perform oral sex on him.

"I felt belittled," Johnson said. "I felt like I had no option and no other recourse but to do what he was telling me what to do. He told me if I didn't do it, he would put me in a place where his tag team buddies would come deal with me on a daily basis."

It was reported at the time, and Johnson was transferred to another prison. He sued and a jury found his story to be credible.

"Being a prisoner, they don't believe anything a prisoner says and they think all prisoners make stories," Johnson said. "I had to obtain his semen. That was the only way they would believe what I was saying."

An investigation conducted by Angola could not be substantiated. However, when Holliday was asked about the semen, he admitted to masturbating at work. He claimed the inmate took a napkin out of his office trash can.

"I don't think it's fair to the taxpayer that the state is prolonging this situation and making the taxpayers be responsible for paying the interest on the money the jury awarded me," Johnson said.

Right now, the case is accruing interest at a rate of nearly $30,000 each year that the state does not pay.

WBRZ reached out to the Department of Corrections to find out when the settlement might get paid, but we did not hear back.

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