Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy Tim Trask falsely accused an inmate of inciting another inmate to file what he claimed to be a bogus complaint against him under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). I know this because I was the inmate falsely accused of directing Jason Paul Schaefer to file a PREA complaint against Trask in June of 2018. I never directed Jason Schaefer to file anything against Trask. I was aware that Schaefer was filing a PREA complaint against Trask and that the allegations (if I recall correctly) included threatening to put Schaefer in a cell with a convicted sex offender (Gerald Ryan Davis). Schaefer talked about the complaint and what he was accusing Trask of, but I never told him to file it and I never encouraged him to file it.
After Schaefer filed the complaint a deputy that I believe was Ryan Rafferty but I am not sure, came to take Schaefer to booking saying that he was needed there to discuss his PREA complaint. I never saw Schaefer again. His stuff stayed in his cell while I went to war with the deputies for other reasons. Reasons including Trask coming in to my cell and body slamming me just to remove commissary items from the cell due to me being on lockdown status. Such use of force is excessive because an inmate having food, candy, and coffee is not enough of a security threat to justify opening his cell door, slamming him on the ground, and carrying him to booking. The appropriate remedy for what they call "nuisance contraband" is an incident report. The very meaning of "nuisance contraband" is that it is an item in excess of what the rules allow that is not a weapon, drugs, or anything otherwise dangerous. I think one reason they did what they did was because the disciplinary officer had already given me a year of lockdown that would have kept me in the hole no matter what as long as I was there (I went home in November of that year), which effectively eliminated any concerns I had about getting written up for anything. This angered the other inmates in the unit including Schaefer. They told the deputies that they thought I was being mistreated. Then Schaefer decided to file a PREA complaint and their response was to throw him in solitary up in booking where he remained for at least several days. I was rolled up and taken to FCI Sheridan and I assume Schaefer was allowed back in his cell at that point.
When I went to a court hearing in July of 2018 a surprise government witness stated that one of the reasons I was banned from Columbia County included directing other inmates to retaliate against deputies with what he said were "false" PREA complaints. That witness was Marc Nordquist. Nordquist is the Security Coordinator for the Protective Intelligence Inspector at the U.S. Marshals Office. Nordquist had been spying on me for months and decided to come clean. There is not and has never been to the best of my knowledge any allegations made by an inmate accusing me of directing the filing of PREA complaints by other inmates. That means that the deputies most likely fabricated the allegation, probably to justify keeping Schaefer in booking on the grounds that he was allegedly following orders from me and that keeping us in the same unit was some kind of safety risk. That did not justify keeping Schaefer in booking since they could have just moved him to another pod where he would have had access to a shower and his legal materials.
What I find disturbing is that the CCSO did not appear to take any steps to keep Trask away from inmates until the matter could be resolved. When a PREA complaint is filed against a deputy I believe the law requires steps to be taken just in case it is true. For example an inmate filed a PREA complaint against Correctional Officer Carlos Hernandez at FCI Sheridan in 2017 and as a result Hernandez was reassigned to the mail room among other duties that kept him out of the unit. Hernandez never suffered a pay cut or anything during that time that would have caused him any harm while the matter was unresolved. Schaefer was put in solitary before the merits of the PREA complaint could be addressed. Staff accused of wrongdoing under PREA will almost always deny the accusation, so it is not appropriate to punish the inmate when that denial is made even if the rest of the staff believe the complaint to be without merit. Punishment for such things should be postponed until the merits of the complaint can be formally addressed. Instead of giving Schaefer the benefit of the doubt it appears that the CCSO deputies decided to punish him instead. This could have a chilling effect that might prevent other inmates from filing PREA complaints. That is inappropriate.