Kennebec County settles excessive force lawsuit for $30,000

Christopher Burns, Bangor Daily News, Maine
·1 min read

May 4—Kennebec County has settled an excessive force lawsuit that accused a jail guard of assaulting and pepper-spraying an inmate nearly two years ago.

The county settled the lawsuit for $30,000, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Jonathan Afandor, 26, was awaiting trial at the Kennebec County Jail in Augusta on Aug. 28, 2019, when Corrections Officer Nathan Willhoite and another guard removed him from his cell during a floor shakeup.

Afandor's lawsuit said he was standing against a wall reading when Willhoite grabbed his arm, pepper-sprayed him in the face, slammed him against a table and pinned his arm behind him, according to the newspaper.

Afandor, who is no longer at the jail, was placed in isolation and not given medical attention until the following day, the newspaper reported.

The county admitted in a response to the lawsuit that guards pepper-sprayed Afandor, who was standing against a wall after everyone was ordered to sit. The county and Willhoite denied most of Afandor's claims.

Afandor's lawsuit also accused the second guard of using a racial slur against him, according to the newspaper.

Willhoite has resigned his part-time post at the jail and now works for another law enforcement agency, which Kennebec County Sheriff Ken Mason did not identify, the Press Herald reported.