Former Kentucky State Prison Sergeant Convicted of Violating Civil Rights of an Inmate and Obstruction of Justice
A former Detention Deputy with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in Indianapolis, Indiana, was sentenced today in federal district court for assaulting an inmate. Jorge Alberto Mateos, 26, of Noblesville, Indiana, was sentenced by Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to 18 months in federal prison, one year of supervised release and an $1,000 fine. Mateos previously pleaded guilty to a felony civil rights offense for his unreasonable use of force against an inmate in his care.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers of the Southern District of Indiana and FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton made the announcement.
According to court documents and statements made at the sentencing hearing, on the evening of Sept. 9, 2021, Mateos was on duty as a Detention Deputy at the Marion County Jail. During the shift, deputies ordered an inmate at the facility to remove his jail-issued shoes. The inmate kicked off his shoes and sat in the corner of his cell. In response, Mateos entered the cell and told the inmate something to the effect of, “When a deputy tells you to do something, you need to do it.” Mateos then struck the inmate in the face multiple times, during which time the inmate did not try to resist or fight back. Mateos continued to strike the inmate after he fell to the ground. According to court documents, other detention deputies attempted to deescalate the situation, separated the inmate and Mateos, and placed the inmate in handcuffs. After the inmate was handcuffed, Mateos struck the inmate several additional times. As a result, the inmate sustained bodily injuries.
“Former Deputy Mateos abused his authority as a law enforcement officer and betrayed the public’s trust when he violently assaulted an inmate in his custody,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke. “Law enforcement officials who commit violent assaults inside our jails and prisons are not above the law, and we will continue to vigorously prosecute those who commit civil rights violations.”
“Law enforcement officers who violate their oaths and choose to assault persons in their custody will be held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers. “Former Deputy Mateos chose to repeatedly attack an inmate who offered no resistance, an assault that continued even after the inmate was handcuffed. These crimes dishonor our profession and erode trust in the honorable law enforcement officers who risk their lives to keep the community safe. Abuses of the public trust are a special category of wrongs to be righted, and the sentence imposed today demonstrates that this office, the Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners will prioritize holding these offenders accountable.”
“There is no acceptable level of abuse of power,” said Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “The vast majority of law enforcement officers are professional, well-trained and honor the oath they took to protect and serve the community. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold accountable those who violate that oath and the civil rights of those they are sworn to protect.”
This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bradley P. Shepard and Kelsey L. Massa of the Southern District of Indiana, and Trial Attorney Katherine G. DeVar for the Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.