WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Covington, Ky., returned an eight-count indictment today against five current and former Fayette County corrections officers in connection with a conspiracy to violate the civil rights of inmates at the Fayette County Urban Detention Center, announced Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The individual officers charged in the indictment are Lt. Kristine LaFoe, Sgt. John McQueen, Sgt. Anthony Estep, Cpl. Clarence McCoy and Cpl. Scott Tyree.
The indictment identifies multiple incidents occurring between Jan. 1, 2006, and Oct.1, 2006, in which one or more of the defendants allegedly assaulted inmates at the intake unit of the jail. The first count of the indictment alleges that the five defendants conspired with each other and with other unindicted individuals to assault inmates without justification, and to cover up their conduct by filing false reports and charges.
The remaining seven counts are as follows: John McQueen is charged in two counts with using excessive and unnecessary force on inmates; McQueen is also charged with one count of falsifying reports and one count of attempting to obstruct justice in order to cover up the assaults, Clarence McCoy and Scott Tyree are charged with one count of assaulting an inmate and one count of falsifying reports to conceal the assault. Finally, Anthony Estep is charged with one count of obstruction of justice for filing false charges against an inmate who attempted to report the abuse of an inmate.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty. The conspiracy and assault counts carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and the obstruction of justice and falsifying reports counts carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Civil Rights Division Trial Attorneys Kristy Parker and Christine Dunn are prosecuting this case for the government. The case is being investigated by FBI Special Agent David Potts.