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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 21, 2019

Former Private Prisoner Transport Officer Sentenced to Prison for Sexually Assaulting an Individual During a Transport

James Baldinger, 51, a former private prisoner transport officer with the Prisoner Transportation Services of America LLC (PTS), was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to two years in prison for sexually assaulting a female during transport.

According to court documents, Baldinger worked as a transport officer for PTS, a private prisoner extradition company that contracts with government agencies to transport individuals arrested on out-state-warrants to the extraditing jurisdiction. On or about July 11-12, 2017, during a transport from Kentucky to Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Baldinger sexually assaulted a female who was in his custody. Specifically, he touched her while she was restrained and without her consent. As a result of Baldinger’s conduct, the victim suffered pain and injury. Baldinger admitted that he knew what he was doing was wrong and against the law, yet he did so anyway. 

“The Department of Justice will hold accountable anyone who uses their law enforcement authority to sexually assault individuals in their custody,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to vigorously prosecute these cases and secure justice for victims of these despicable crimes.”

“Every individual has a fundamental right not be sexually assaulted. By taking advantage of his power over the victim, and sexually abusing her, this defendant committed a grievous violation of the public trust,” said U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson for the District of New Mexico. “Today’s sentence should send a clear message that the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico will work tirelessly to bring to justice those who abuse their authority to perpetrate such appalling crimes.”

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI and the New Mexico State Police. It was prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Fara Gold and Trial Attorney Maura White of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Shaheen Torgoley, formerly of the District of New Mexico and Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Brawley, of the District of New Mexico.

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 
19-1286
Updated November 21, 2019