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$10 million default judgment in case of Arizona prison rape

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A federal judge has entered a $10 million default judgment against a convict who raped an Arizona prison teacher more than two years ago.

In an order filed Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton said Jacob Harvey must pay $5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages to the teacher.

A magistrate judge recommended the $10 million default judgment last month after Harvey refused to participate by telephone in an April evidentiary hearing.

Harvey later asked for a lawyer to defend him against the civil suit filed by the teacher, who was raped inside a prison classroom in January 2014.

Bolton denied the request.

“Harvey is not entitled to appointed counsel in this civil case and even if he were, this request is made over two years after he was served with the summons and complaint, more than one year after his default was entered and five months after he told (the magistrate) he did not want to participate in the hearing to determine damages,” Bolton said in her brief order.

Harvey was just 20 and serving a 30-year term for rape when he assaulted the teacher. He was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty.

The state of Arizona paid the woman a $3 million settlement last December.

No guards were nearby and there was no video monitoring of the classroom when the rape occurred. The state has since increased security for teachers and other non-sworn staff members.

Harvey reportedly has no money. But he could inherit money or get more from friends or receive cash from his Indian tribe, which owns several Arizona casinos, said Scott Zwillinger, a lawyer for the teacher.

“We may proceed to tribal court,” Zwillinger said. “We will explore all our options.”

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