Former Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Assault an Inmate
|U.S. Department of Justice February 27, 2013|
WASHINGTON—Dustin Norris, a former correctional officer at the Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiring with other RCI officers to assault an inmate at the state prison on March 9, 2008.
Norris, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiring with other RCI officers to beat K.D. on March 9, 2008.
According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Norris and other officers met at RCI and agreed to assault K.D. in retaliation for a prior incident involving K.D. and another officer. Norris and four other correctional officers then entered K.D.’s cell and assaulted inmate K.D., while a fifth officer, Ryan Lohr, watched from the cell door. The officers beat inmate K.D. even though the inmate already had visible facial injuries. Following this assault, K.D. was transported to a local hospital.
Norris further admitted that he lied to state investigators when he was asked about the injuries K.D. suffered while held in a single-occupant segregation cell.
“Mr. Norris has admitted that he and other officers used unjustified and unlawful force to punish an inmate,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute those officers who violate the constitutional rights of inmates.”
Norris faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is set for October 28, 2013, before U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar.
In a related case, former RCI Correctional Officer Ryan Lohr entered a guilty plea on January 30, 2013, also before Judge Bredar.
The investigation by the Frederick Resident Agency of the FBI is ongoing. The case is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.