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Press Release

Former Oklahoma Corrections Officer
Sentenced to 21 Months for Federal Civil Rights Violation

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON - Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Grace Chung Becker and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma Sheldon J. Sperling today announced that Jarrod Anthony Yates, a former Sequoyah County, Okla., corrections officer, was sentenced to 21 months in prison for violating the civil rights of an arrestee.

On June 25, 2006, at the Sequoyah County Jail in Sallisaw, Okla., Yates punched, kneed and stomped an arrestee on his head and face, causing serious injuries, including a fractured orbital socket and severe lacerations that required stitches.

"While we all appreciate corrections officers have dangerous jobs, that doesn’t give them license to abuse their authority with this kind of physical violence," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Grace Chung Becker. "The vast majority exercise appropriate restraint, and because the rule of law is paramount in our society, we have an obligation to prosecute those who clearly don’t."

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Horn, and Trial Attorneys Roy Conn and Michael Khoury from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Updated September 15, 2014

Press Release Number: 09-036