News and Press Releases

Former Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Jail Major Indicted For Assaulting An Inmate

November 4 , 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - James Donis, 47, a former major at the Allegheny County, Penn., Jail, and a resident of Glenshaw, Penn., has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges stemming from an April 2010 incident in which Donis allegedly punched an inmate in the face, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The three-count indictment charges Donis with a felony civil rights violation, falsifying documents related to the incident, and making false statements to an agent of the FBI.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on the civil rights charge, a fine of $250,000, or both; a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the obstruction of justice charge, a fine of $250,000, or both; and a maximum penalty of five years in prison on the false statements charge, a fine of $250,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy L. Johnston and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Patricia A. Sumner are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The FBI conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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