Jeremy McCusker, a former correctional officer at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, Md., yesterday pleaded guilty to assaulting an inmate and conspiring with other officers to cover up that assault. McCusker is the sixth former RCI officer to enter a guilty plea in federal court.
According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, McCusker admitted that, during the midnight shift on March 8-9, 2008, he, Lanny Harris, Philip Mayo and two other RCI officers were involved in an assault of an inmate, identified by the initials K.D. McCusker acknowledged that he and other RCI officers assaulted K.D. in order to punish him for striking an officer during a prior shift.
McCusker also admitted that he and other RCI officers discussed how they would cover up their involvement in the assault of K.D. McCusker admitted that he provided false and misleading information to federal and state authorities in an effort to cover up his involvement in the assault.
“Mr. McCusker has admitted that he and other correctional officers assaulted an inmate in order to punish him and that they subsequently conspired to cover up their criminal conduct,” said Roy L. Austin Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute officers who use their official position to both commit and cover up violations of federal criminal law.”
McCusker faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Sentencing is set for Aug. 23, 2013, before U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar.
In related cases before Judge Bredar, former RCI Correctional Officers Ryan Lohr, Philip Mayo, Dustin Norris, Walter Steele, and Lanny Harris each has entered a guilty plea. Nine other current or former RCI officers still face federal charges in connection with the alleged assault of K.D.
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 Attorney Sanjay Patel 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.