The cast of characters could randomly be picked from any number of prisons from Maine to California, except, that is, for chaplain, Rev. William B. Pickard
Fr. Pickard, a priest of the Diocese of Scranton, served the prison for 26 years, often risking his own safety and reputation by advocating for human rights.
wrote a letter to the Lackawanna County commissioners on March 30, 2010, four months before the assault, complaining that administrators at the prison had failed to investigate Pinto's allegations of sexual assaults and denial of medical treatment.
On August 8, 2010, Pinto, in protective custody, was assaulted by a violent prisoner who was supposed to be in lockdown, knocked to the floor and had his
head stomped on 15 times.
face was shattered, he
suffered brain injuries and was left comatose.
Complicity on the part of staff was alleged.
Fr. Pickard, in attempting to visit Pinto in Intensive Care at the Community Medical Center, was detained by a guard at the door and placed on Administrative Leave for allegedly trying to push the guard aside, a charge he denies.
On October 6, 2010, Warden Janine Donate announced that Pickard had been permanently banned from the prison in the interest of getting "'a fresh start."
I stand in solidarity with Fr. Pickard