The Justice Department announced that James Kalbflesh, a former correctional officer at the Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, Md., was convicted today by a federal jury on three civil rights and conspiracy counts related to his participation in the beating of an RCI inmate in 2008 and the cover-up that followed. A second defendant, Lt. Jason Weicht, was acquitted on one charge of conspiring to help cover up the assault.
Kalbflesh was one of numerous RCI officers who participated in a series of retaliatory beatings against an inmate as their form of punishment for the inmate’s prior misconduct. Kalbflesh was convicted of conspiring with other officers to violate the civil rights of the inmate; with violating the inmate’s rights; and with conspiring to obstruct justice after the assault.
In related cases, 12 former RCI officers have pleaded guilty to various charges, and one has been convicted by a jury, in connection with a series of three separate beatings of the same inmate that occurred over the course of three consecutive shifts at the prison, and the cover-up that followed. Two other former RCI officers involved in the assaults pleaded guilty in state court.
“Sixteen former corrections officials from RCI now stand convicted for their various roles in three brutal assaults against an inmate and in coordinated cover-ups that followed each assault,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “These officers betrayed the public trust by using their official positions to commit violent civil rights abuses and then to try to hide what they had done. The Department of Justice will continue to prosecute vigorously law enforcement officers who use their power to violate federal law.”
These cases were investigated by the Frederick Resident Agency of the FBI, and were prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel for the Civil Rights Division.