03 Nov Colorado woman with developmental disabilities wins $8.25M in sex assault lawsuit against sheriff: “I got my justice… he can’t hurt me”
By Brian Maass
October 20, 2022
Peattina Biggs, 46, a woman with developmental disabilities, is opening up about the Colorado sheriff who she says sexually molested her, and the $8.25 million federal jury verdict she won earlier this month. She believes the verdict confirms she told the truth about what she said former Sedgwick County Sheriff Tom Hanna did to her in 2016.
“He lied about everything,” Biggs said during an interview with CBS News Colorado. “But I got my justice back, and that’s what I wanted back, not the money.”
One of Biggs’ attorneys says he believes Biggs operates at the same level as a 10 or 11-year-old. She is considered to be a woman with intellectual disabilities, according to another of her attorneys. Biggs enjoys coloring books, riding her bike, and playing with her cat, Tigger.
The federal jury in Denver ruled in her favor on Tuesday Oct. 4 in a civil lawsuit she filed against Hanna, in which she said she was the victim of false imprisonment, cruel and unusual punishment, sexual assault, and battery. The jury awarded Biggs $3.25 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages — more in punitive damages than her attorney had asked for.
The massive award was not what was most important to Biggs.
“They (the jury) believed me, and it was a wonderful feeling,” Biggs said. “I didn’t really care about the money. It was a point of getting my justice back and telling the truth. Thats all I wanted.”
In 2016, Biggs was in the Sedgwick County Jail on drug charges. Hanna, who was serving as sheriff, said he was going to transport Biggs to another jail with more room, which was routine.
But he first had Biggs change out of her orange jail jumpsuit and into civilian clothes. He then placed her in his personal pickup truck, and instead of taking her directly to another jail, he drove her to his home where he said he wanted to talk to her about crime information.
David Fisher, Biggs’ attorney, said the sheriff had methodically plotted what he was going to do.
“It was 100% planned out and thought out ahead of time,” Fisher said. He said Hanna took her to his home where there were no cameras and no witnesses.