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Press Release

Former Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Sergeant Charged with Civil Rights Violations

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that a federal grand jury in Birmingham, Ala., returned a three-count indictment charging former Tuscaloosa Sheriff’s sergeant, Althea Mallisham, 52, with federal civil rights crimes for using a stun gun on three jail detainees in 2008.


Mallisham is charged with violating the constitutional rights of three jail detainees by using a stun gun to illegally punish the detainees during separate incidents over a four month period in 2008. The indictment alleges that each of the three detainees suffered bodily injury as a result of Mallisham’s use of the stun gun against them.


Mallisham faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each count.


This case, which is ongoing, is being investigated by the Tuscaloosa resident agency of the FBI’s Birmingham Field Office, and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney D.W. Tunnage of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamarra Matthews Johnson for the Northern District of Alabama.


An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Updated August 24, 2015

Press Release Number: 11-974