A man serving time in Hawaii for sharing military secrets with his Chinese girlfriend is suing the federal government after he was beat up in his prison cell by his schizophrenic cellmate.
The 62-year-old inmate suffered several cuts and bruises, including an eye which was swollen shut, after he was beaten by his cellmate.
On Thursday, a lawsuit was filed, saying Honolulu Federal Detention Center officials should have known critical things about a cellmate who beat up Benjamin Bishop. The lawsuit alleges that the officials in Hawaii should have known the inmate, Michael Tanouye, was on psychiatric medication, suicidal, and had tried to rape a woman on an airplane before his imprisonment, according to the Associated Press.
The lawsuit also claims that the FBI and Hawaii sheriff’s deputies knew that 32-year-old Tanouye “was seriously dangerous and deranged” before he was placed in a jail cell with Bishop.
When in the cell alone with Bishop, Tanouye allegedly attacked Bishop viciously and suddenly.
The lawsuit alleges Tanouye threw Bishop to the floor and started beating him violently in the head. Bishop is the smaller of the two inmates and had a hard time reaching the panic button because Tanouye wouldn’t let him. Tanouye said he would stop hurting Bishop if he would stay away from the alarm, so Bishop stopped struggling.
After the beating, Bishop asked Tanouye why he attacked him. Tanouye said that he thought Bishop was the devil.
A prison psychiatrist allegedly told Bishop that his cellmate was a paranoid schizophrenic.
In February, a judge found Tanouye not guilty by reason of insanity for the incidents in the plane and in the prison.
Bishop is seeking money to cover the medical costs he has already incurred and for future costs that will come. He is also suing for his pain and suffering.
U.S. Attorney’s office spokesman Elliot Enoki would not comment on the case because it had not been reviewed.
Bishop is serving a 7-year sentence after pleading guilty in 2014 to sharing military secrets with his Chinese girlfriend and keeping classified documents in his home.
Bishop plead guilty to emailing his girlfriend classified information on joint training and planning sessions. Those sessions were between the U.S. and South Korea, according to the Associated Press.
The FBI accused Bishop of giving documents to his then 27-year-old girlfriend, a woman he was having an extramarital affair with, about war plans, nuclear weapons, missile defenses, and other classified topics.
Bishop was allowed to live in a halfway house during his sentence, but he violated the terms of his release by writing to his girlfriend and sending her an email.
The FBI said the girlfriend was living in the United States as a student on a J-1 visa, and they have not stated whether she was working for the Chinese government. Her identity or where she is located has not been released.
Benjamin Bishop was divorced from his wife in 2012.
Bishop was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and worked in cyber defense at Pacific Command from May 2011 until his arrest in March 2013. Before that, Bishop helped to develop strategy and policy at Pacific Command.
From 2010 to 2012, Maj. Gen. Anthony Crutchfield said that Bishop had access to “top secret” facts on U.S. defense efforts against a ballistic missile attack from North Korea.
Bishop’s attorney claims that Bishop was simply in love with his Chinese mistress, but the FBI did not consider sharing classified information a necessary part of being in love.
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