Did Georgia Police Take Amanda Booker To “Ex-Gay” Therapy Instead Of Drug Rehab?

Did Georgia police officers really take lesbian Amanda Booker to an “ex-gay” evangelist when they should have taken her to drug rehab? That’s what Booker alleges in a lawsuit she’s filed against members of the Bartow County Sheriff’s Department. Her story has all the makings of a nightmare: false arrest, separation from her family and girlfriend, an unrelenting lieutenant who follows her around like a psychopath, and a still untreated drug addiction that continues to rack her body and mind.

When Booker’s family called the Bartow County Sheriff’s Department to get her psychiatric care for her drug addiction, Booker began having seizures in the squad care and the deputy transported her to Cartersville Medical Center. While there, Booker alleges Lieutenant Mark Mayton began “harassing Ms. Booker, making numerous threats concerning her lesbian relationship with her partner… [forbidding] Ms. Booker from having a lesbian relationship and [ordering] Ms. Booker not to contact her partner.”

Booker then claims that Lt. Mayton personally transported her to the private residence of Chris and Donna McDowell, two self-described “evangelists” paid $600 in county funds “to attempt to convert Ms. Booker from being a lesbian.” Booker escaped after several days and ran back to her mother’s house where she alleges that Lt. Mayton came to arrest her and in the process slammed her against his squad car and lifted up her shirt to expose her bare breasts.

Booker filed a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department and Mr. and Mrs. McDowell in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia. The lawuit alleges:

“At all times relevant to this action, it was normal procedure, practice and custom of defendants Bartow County, Brown, and Milsap to punish homosexuals and persons holding different religious beliefs.”

The lawsuit further states that it was also the normal procedure for Bartow County officials named in the suit to “harass homosexuals taken into custody, to mandate that homosexuals taken into custody refrain from living as homosexuals, and to forbid them from maintaining any homosexual relationships.”

Booker’s attorney Anthony Perrotta says that she has since been “incarcerated in South Georgia at Pulaski State Prison since October after the Bartow County Sheriff’s Department arrested her and charged her for, among other things, damage to a police vehicle.” Perrotta says that he’d like to get her out of prison and into drug rehab where she can receive the treatment she needs.

Bartow Country Sheriff Clark Milsap said of the suit, “I haven’t been served. But, no ma’am, that is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” chuckling before adding he had no comment.

Ms. Booker’s allegations sound almost too horrific to be true—Lt. Mayton sounds like an absolute monster! Of course, if this sort of harassment is as common as Booker says, perhaps her legal counsel can find one or two other arrestees to help validate her claim.

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  • Cam

    The police should be fired. If they had taken somebody who was Asian, and married to another race, and taken them to a therapy to get the “Interacial Marriage wants” changed, and they had harrassed her about her marraige, they would be fired immediately.

    Unless being gay is illegal in GA. which it isn’t, they need to be dumped immediatly.

  • hyhybt

    The trouble still is in determining whether she’s telling the truth or not.

  • Cam


    The fact that $600.00 in county funds went to ex gay evanglical therepists would lend a huge amount of support to her story.

  • Shannon1981

    this isn’t surprising at all. I had a therapist at the local community mental health center tell me to stay in the closet and offered references to ex gay groups, despite what the American Psychological Association says about trying to “cure” homosexuality. Obviously I never went back, but it caused a lot of painful flashbacks to conversion therapy. Keep in mind the location of this incident. Drug addict or not, I absolutely believe this happened. I live in SC. That is one state above where this occurred.

  • c

    I live in Bartow County, GA (not my first choice, mind you). I find this very easy to believe. I carefully avoid anything that could lead to interactions with law enforcement because of this sort of thing.

  • hyhybt

    @Cam: Indeed…. if it’s shown to *be* a fact. Which should be easy enough, for a lawyer at least, to verify one way or the other.

    @c: I’ve lived in Georgia all my life (so far), but the state has a lot of… variety, and I’m not familiar with Bartow County. (There are, after all, a *lot* of counties in Georgia!)

  • Tess

    I think her Drug addiction issue needs to be separated from the disgraceful treatment or lack of she received.

    I’d like too think the officers involved are dealt with harshly. I know they would be down here in Australia.

    I very much believe Addicts have to ask for help even though watching them constantly fail is one of the most horrible experiences I have had in my life. They can’t be forced to seek help.

  • Jeffree

    You can’t OD on Jesus, now can ya?

    If Ms. Booker was having seizing due to overdose or withdrawal, she should have been taken to the emergency room, not to a faith healer.

    Addiction is a disease. If the police took a diabetic to get exorcized, they’d lose their badges & get run out of town. She needs to get into treatment & deal with whatever (real) legal issues she has,


    There should be a record of county funds being expended and a payee on any financial instrument. This should be a cake walk for a competent attorney.

  • Macha

    This is so appalling, I’m fuming. HOW does a person become a police officer who thinks it’s okay to treat another human being this way??? THIS JERK SHOULD BE IN JAIL. Not just for his anti-gay hate crimes, but for so horribly misusing his power to stop a woman from getting the treatment she needs, and turning her into a “criminal.”

  • Thrutch

    @Tess: You obviously live in one of the major australian cities Tess. You can be treated jsut as harshly for being gay in ballarat, wagga and bathurst. Just to name a few of the places I have been in australia where my sexuality was not made welcome. I dont want a parade, but i would like to walk down the street not getting abused.
    Cops are not our friends we need to realize that, there state enforced thugs.

  • dgj

    I live in Bartow County. Anyone that doesn’t like it here is WELCOME to MOVE. But God is everywhere.His love will follow u. No one should be forced. It is our choice. But there is consequences for our choices. The truth is still the truth regardless if we admit it or not. GOD is still GOD. Our beliefs does not lessen who HE is. It only limits us from all HE has for us.Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. God created Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve. Sin is Sin.Get right with God (while you can) or get left. Eternity is FOREVER. U Will Spend it Somewhere. U choose. God will love u all the way to Hell. But it is your choice to go there. Your life is a gift from God. What you do with it is your gift back to HIM. God wants us to love our fellow brother or sister. That is not the same as having sexual relations with them. Only thru aceepting Jesus in your life can u find the real fulfillment that we all need. Please don’t be decieved into thinking that you were created to be homosexual. That attraction is not from God. You can be healed from the frustration and confusion. You were created to have a relationship with Almighty God. Will u dare ask Him if there is any truth in this? Will u dare ask Him to show you? We all try various things to fill a void that only Jesus can fill. Ask HIM to forgive you and to help you. Ask HIM to show you. Give HIM a chance,give yourself a chance. He loves you.

  • hyhybt

    @dgj: You’re not helping.

  • The crustybastard

    Bigoted cops in Georgia?

    Well,now I’ve seen EVERYTHING.

  • Georgia Resident

    @hyhybt: The case was thrown out because she was lying and full of shit. Anthony Perrotta her attorney should have checked the facts before filing the complaint.

  • Hyhybt

    @Georgia Resident: Thank you for the update; I’d forgotten all about this.

Comments are closed.