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Press Release

Former Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Jail Major Indicted for Assaulting an Inmate

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

PITTSBURGH - 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 civil rights charges stemming from an April 2010 incident in which Donis allegedly punched an inmate in the face, the Justice Department 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.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy L. Johnston from the Western District of Pennsylvania 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.

Updated August 24, 2015

Press Release Number: 11-1460