Department of Justice SealDepartment of Justice
Thursday, April 17, 2008
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Two Indicted in San Antonio in Connection with Federal Civil Rights Investigation

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced that a federal grand jury in San Antonio, Texas, has returned a seven-count indictment today, charging former Bexar County Adult Detention Center (BCADC) Corrections Officer Brandit Franco with federal civil rights violations for using excessive force against two inmates in 2006. Deputy U.S. Marshal Benjamin Bates was also indicted for his misconduct related to the grand jury investigation of the incident.

The indictment alleges that on Oct. 18, 2006, Franco assaulted two inmates at the Bexar County jail resulting in bodily injury to both men. Additionally, Franco was charged with witness tampering and preparing false documents related to the incident. The grand jury indicted Deputy Marshal Bates for informing Franco of the identity of a witness in the grand jury’s investigation of the matter and for communicating with a grand jury witness about the investigation. Bates was also indicted for making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his conduct.

An indictment is only an allegation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney James D. Walsh and Senior Litigation Counsel Gerard Hogan, both of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.