Jailed man sues Judge Cook, Sheriff Justus over forced AIDS test

By Kelly Holleran | Dec 2, 2009

A St. Clair County jail prisoner claims St. Clair County Judge Michael N. Cook and Sheriff Mearl J. Justus owe him $5.5 million and he deserves to be released from jail after they forced an HIV test on him.

Gary A. LaVite filed a lawsuit Nov. 19 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against the judge and sheriff, claiming that they violated the AIDS Confidentiality Act.

LaVite claims he was serving an eight-year sentence in the St. Clair County Jail when Justus placed him in isolation on Dec. 29, 2007, saying he had a disease.

"I told them I'm not sick and that they were scaring me," LaVite wrote in his complaint. "They laughed. On Jan. 4, 2008, and armed with a judge's order they threatened me with bodily harm and forced an H.I.V. test upon me."

LaVite still continues to undergo non-consensual blood extractions, according to his complaint.

LaVite claims he has already attempted to file charges to no avail.

Now, he seeks $5.5 million and an immediate release from jail.

He will be appearing pro se.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-629.

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