WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Del Rio, Texas, returned an indictment today charging former Val Verde County Detention Center corrections officer Emmanuel Cassio with federal civil rights violations.
The indictment alleges that on Oct. 31, 2006, Cassio assaulted and injured an inmate in violation of the inmate’s constitutional right not to be subjected to excessive force by a corrections officer.
An indictment is only an allegation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. A trial date for Cassio has not been set.
The Civil Rights Division is committed to the aggressive enforcement of the nation’s civil rights laws. In the past seven years of this Administration, the Division has convicted over 50 percent more defendants for color of law, or official misconduct, violations than in the previous seven years. The Division continues to set records in the enforcement of criminal civil law. Last year, the Division convicted 189 defendants for civil rights violations, which is a record number in the 50-year history of the Division. Last year’s record broke the record set in 2006.
The case was investigated by the Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Brady and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Jared Fishman.