Michael Morgan, formerly an officer at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, Md., pleaded guilty today to assaulting an inmate on March 9, 2008, announced the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. Morgan is the 12th former RCI officer to enter a plea in connection with the federal investigation into a series of assaults that the inmate, identified by the initials K.D., suffered at RCI on March 8-9, 2008. According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Morgan admitted that he assaulted K.D. by kicking the inmate in the area of his groin. Morgan acknowledged that he kicked K.D. in order to punish him for his prior misconduct. Morgan also admitted that he lied under oath in 2008, when he falsely denied both assaulting K.D. and having any knowledge of an assault of the inmate.
“Mr. Morgan has admitted that, as a correctional officer, he – and others – violated a person’s constitutional rights and then lied to cover up their on-duty misconduct,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute officers who use their official position to commit and to cover up violations of federal criminal law.”
Morgan faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Sentencing is set for April 23, 2014, before U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar.
In related cases before Judge Bredar, former RCI Correctional Officers Ryan Lohr, Dustin Norris, Philip Mayo, Jeremy McCusker, Walter Steele, Lanny Harris, Keith Morris, Tyson Hinckle and Reginald Martin, and former RCI Lieutenants Robert Harvey and Edwin Stigile each has entered a guilty plea. Two former RCI officers previously entered guilty pleas in state court.
Three current or former RCI officers still face federal charges in connection with this incident. These officers are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The investigation by the Frederick Resident Agency of the FBI is ongoing. The case is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorneys Sanjay Patel and Christine Siscaretti of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, with the assistance of Michael Cunningham of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.