January 1995


Six weeks before he was raped by another prison inmate, Graylon Bell wrote a letter to IYC Superintendent Clarence Trigg, (IYC is where Mike Tyson is) asking that he be moved out of the dorm [prison section] and away from his harasser. Instead, he was forced to share the same cell with the man, a burly inmate who was unpopular because he rarely bathed. On August 22, 1994, the day he was raped, Graylon sent this plea to prison grievance specialist Owen Ratcliff: "I ask to be moved out of the room [cell] I am in because the roommate is making sex moves on me. He has done this in the past before they moved me into the room with him..."

After the rape, Bell was taken to Wishard, treated for rape and tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and returned to prison in spite of a doctor's request that he be kept in the hospital overnight. There he was placed in an isolation unit by Quenten Storm, prison investigator, supposedly for a 'suicide watch,' which meant that he was stripped to his shorts, laid face down on a steel bunk with his hands and legs crossed and shackled, (called a "four-way" by prisoners). "How long am I gonna have to stay down here?" Bell asked Storm, who replied, "Probably for the rest of your time [approximately four years]. We're going to protect you now." Bell was kept there for three weeks and not allowed to contact anyone on the 'outside', even his parents. "They never did unchain me [except for cold meals and a few minutes of stretching every four hours] until I agreed to sign the paper," claimed Bell.

"The paper" was a release form asking that the investigation not be pursued. In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, published January 8, 1995, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Pam Patterson claims, "We can't take any action because we no longer have a witness. When Mr. Bell asked that we no longer pursue the matter, then we didn't have a witness."

The coverup continued in a followup article by the Star, when the DOC Commissioner Christian DeBruyn (pronounced de brew-in) rejected assertions that state prison officials set up Bell to be raped and then covered up their own involvement. DeBruyn also labelled Bell as a "sex offender", when his conviction was actually for having sex with a willing but underage teenage girl. Officials involved were Clarence Trigg, Owen Ratcliff, Lt. John Collier, a shift commander, Quenten Storm, and Pam Patterson. The only officials who told the truth were Sgt. James Tubbs, who tried to get Collier to help, Collier's boss, unit team manager Evan Phemster (who told Bell to "Just say no"), and Roy Johnson, corrections officer, who verified the "four-way" restraints. Guess who will get promoted, and who will get fired.

December 2000 Indiana DOC vs. Angry Mother