WASHINGTON – A federal jury in Toledo, Ohio, convicted former corrections officer Seth Bunke on three civil rights violations late Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department announced today. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 9, 2009; Bunke faces a maximum of 12 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.
The evidence at trial showed that on June 11, 2007, Bunke, while on official duty at the Lucas County Jail in Toledo, repeatedly kicked an inmate in the head and face without any justification for doing so. As a result of this assault, the inmate sustained serious injuries requiring hospitalization. Additionally, the evidence at trial showed that defendant Bunke unreasonably seized a vehicle driven by two local residents on March 13, 2007, and assaulted a pretrial detainee at the jail on May 6. Bunke was acquitted of two charges.
This case was investigated by Special Agent Brian Russ of the FBI and was prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Kristy L. Parker and Trial Attorney Eric Gibson of the Criminal Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.