U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Reginald Martin, formerly an officer at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, Maryland, to serve 12 months and one day in prison for his role in the assault of inmate Kenneth Davis. RCI officers from three different shifts assaulted Davis in March 2008, in retaliation for a prior incident in which Davis struck an officer.
Martin pleaded guilty on Jan. 9, 2014, to a deprivation of rights under color of law. According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Martin acknowledged that he witnessed other RCI officers unlawfully assaulting Davis and that he failed to intervene and stop the assault. Martin also admitted that this assault on March 9, 2008, was consistent with practices at RCI, where officers would use force to punish inmates who had engaged in misconduct. Finally, Martin admitted that he and other officers tried to cover up their involvement in the assault of Davis.
“Every person in America has the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to protect this right by prosecuting correctional officers who violate the rights of inmates.”
To date, 16 current or former officers at RCI have been convicted in connection with the series of assaults that Davis suffered on March 8-9, 2008. Lanny Harris, Philip Mayo, Jeremy McCusker, Walter Steele, Robert Harvey, Keith Morris, Dustin Norris, Ryan Lohr, Tyson Hinckle, Michael Morgan and Josh Hummerhave already been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Bredar.
The case was investigated by the Frederick Resident Agency of the FBI, and prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Civil Rights Division, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Cunningham of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.