Former Kentucky Jail Supervisor Sentenced on Charges Related to Abuse of Detainees
WASHINGTON – Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, announced today that Kristine Lafoe, a former lieutenant and supervisor at the Lexington-Fayette County Detention Center (FCDC), was sentenced in federal court for her role in covering up systematic detainee abuse. Lafoe was sentenced in Lexington, Ken., by Federal Judge Karen K. Caldwell, to serve one year in prison and two years of supervised release.
Lafoe pleaded guilty on May 14, 2009, to a charge of conspiring to obstruct justice for her role in concealing abuses at FCDC. According to the plea proceeding and documents filed in court, Lafoe, who supervised the midnight intake shift at the FCDC, admitted that between January and October 2006, she instructed officers under her command to falsify reports by using inaccurate language to describe uses of force, so that the physical abuse of detainees would sound innocuous and justifiable. As a supervisor, Lafoe then reviewed these false reports and submitted them to her supervisors, knowing that the reports would conceal and cover up detainee abuse and would obstruct any federal investigations of the abuse. Lafoe admitted that her actions allowed officers under her command to continue abusing detainees with impunity.
"Law enforcement officers who abuse their power undermine public safety and the public trust, and they make the work of law enforcement all the more difficult," said Assistant Attorney General Perez. "As we’ve shown in this case, we will vigorously prosecute officers who engage in acts of criminal misconduct."
The defendant’s conviction resulted from the investigative work of the FBI’s Louisville Division and the Civil Rights Division. The case was prosecuted by division attorneys Jared Fishman and Benjamin Hawk.