Former Maryland Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice
|U.S. Department of Justice January 30, 2013|
WASHINGTON—Ryan Lohr, 26, a former correctional officer at the Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to obstruct justice and destroy evidence from a March 9, 2008 assault of an inmate by RCI officers.
According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Lohr opened the door to inmate K.D.’s cell to allow other correctional officers to assault K.D. in retaliation for a prior incident involving K.D. and another officer. Lohr watched RCI officers use their fists and feet to strike K.D., who was restrained at the time of the assault. After Lohr learned that there would be an investigation into this beating, he met with other RCI officers and agreed to cover up the assault. Lohr directed others to clean up blood in K.D.’s cell and watched a supervisor use what appeared to be a magnetic device in an effort to destroy surveillance video footage. A supervisor also told Lohr not to write a report about inmate K.D. and his injuries.
Lohr further admitted in court documents that he lied to RCI investigators and the Maryland State Police when these agencies asked him about K.D.’s injuries. Lohr also told RCI officers to provide investigators with false information.
“Mr. Lohr admitted that he opened the door so that other correctional officers could assault an inmate, watched other correctional officers assault the restrained inmate, and conspired with others to cover up the assault,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez. “The U.S. Constitution protects inmates and the Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute correctional officers who use their official position to assault inmates or to cover up crimes committed by their fellow officers.”
Lohr faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is set for June 18 before U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar.
The case is ongoing and is being investigated by the Frederick Resident Agency of the FBI and 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 United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.