At a time when protest for civil rights has gripped the US, a former Senior Correctional Officer with the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) in Beaumont, Texas was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for violating the civil rights of an inmate.
Tavoris Bottley, 35, had pleaded guilty on December 5, 2019 to one count of violating the civil rights of an inmate under his custody. On Tuesday, he was sentenced to one and a half years in federal prison, along with one year of supervised release, for the crime.
Talking about Bottley's sentencing, Stephen J. Cox, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, said, "Correctional officers work hard every day to enforce the rules and ensure order within our prisons. When one officer decides to violate those rules and disrupt that order, it undermines the important work of all correctional officers."
Intentional Assault of Inmate
Based on the information presented in court and from plea documents, Bottley punched an inmate identified as 'A.A', while on duty at duty as a federal correctional officer at FCC Beaumont on June 8, 2017. The former prison officer punched the inmate in the head and the face without any valid reason.
Bottley also admitted that along with Khristal Ford, his supervisor, he intentionally unlocked and entered the cell where A.A was housed. He said the intention for the entry was the assault of the inmate for throwing a food tray and being disrespectful. According to Bottley's admission, he punched A.A in spite of being fully aware that he posed no threat.
Facing Time in Prison for Unwarranted Assault
Khristal Ford had earlier pleaded guilty on May 29, 2019 to aiding the assault of A.A. He also admitted to presenting written records the omitted all references to the incident in a bid to cover it up and provide justification to it. He was sentenced to 24 months in prison on 8 January 2020.
Following Bottley's sentencing, Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney for Civil Rights Division, said "The Justice Department is committed to prosecuting correctional officers who use their position of authority to harm others, as opposed to upholding the duties of their job and protecting the individuals in their care."