Doe v. Vigo County, No. 17-3155 (7th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Gray worked in maintenance for the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department, cleaning restrooms and directing volunteers. Some volunteers were completing court‐mandated community service; Gray was responsible for signing off on their time‐logs. Gray performed his job with a high degree of autonomy and worked independently of another maintenance specialist assigned to his park. Doe volunteered at that park to complete her court‐ordered community service. She alleges that Gray took her to the park’s restroom and told her that it required cleaning. After locking the door, Gray allegedly forced Doe to perform oral sex and digitally penetrated her vagina. Gray pleaded guilty to criminal confinement and official misconduct. There were a few prior incidents of misconduct by county employees over the past two decades. Some involved sexual misconduct but, apparently, none resulted in coerced sexual activity. One incident involved a vague comment about Gray made by a park visitor; Vigo County could not substantiate the allegation. Another involved inappropriate comments that Gray made to a coworker; Gray received a written reprimand, which caused him to correct his behavior. Doe sued Gray and Vigo County for damages under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The district court entered a default against Gray and granted the county summary judgment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, finding that the county was neither vicariously liable for Gray’s wrongs nor directly liable for permitting them to occur.