WASHINGTON – Daniel Gordon and Eric Newsome, correctional officers at the Greenville Federal Correctional Institution, were indicted by a federal grand jury for violating the civil rights of an inmate and then lying to cover up the crime, Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Acting United States Attorney Randy Massey, for the Southern District of Illinois announced today. The indictment alleges that the two defendants assaulted the inmate in his cell using fists and handcuffs to strike and injure the inmate. The grand jury charged both men with conspiracy to violate the inmate’s civil rights and with filing false reports after the incident. Additionally, the grand jury charged Newsome with lying to a special agent of the United States Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General. A trial date has been set for September 11, 2006.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum term of ten years in prison on each of the civil rights counts, ten years on the conspiracy count, and 20 years on each count of filing a false report. Newsome potentially faces an additional five years in prison for lying to the special agent of the Office of the Inspector General.
The indictment resulted from an investigation by Special Agent Kimberly Thomas from the Chicago Field Office of the Inspector General, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard H. Lloyd from the United States Attorney’s Office, and Trial Attorney Michael Khoury from the Civil Rights Division.
An indictment is an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the United States has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Civil Rights Division is committed to the vigorous enforcement of every federal criminal civil rights statute, such as those laws that prohibit the willful use of excessive force or other acts of misconduct by law enforcement officials. The Division has compiled a significant record on criminal civil rights prosecutions in the last five years. Since FY 2001, the Division has increased the conviction rate of defendants by 30 percent.