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Press Release

Third Former State Corrections Official Charged In Inmate Beating

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Walt Green announced today that a third former state corrections official has been charged with civil rights violations related to the beating of an inmate at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana.

Mark Sharp, age 33, of Amite, Louisiana, has been charged in a Bill of Information with deprivation of rights under color of law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242, and making false statement, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. If convicted, Sharp faces up to 15 years imprisonment, a fine up to $500,000, and up to 3 years of supervised release following a term of imprisonment. His initial appearance and arraignment will be held on a date to be determined.

Sharp is charged based on his alleged conduct while employed as a correctional officer at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola. The Bill of Information alleges that Sharp willfully deprived an inmate of a right, secured, and protected by the United States Constitution, to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. On January 24, 2010, Sharp allegedly struck an inmate with an asp baton, while the inmate was handcuffed with his hands behind his back, resulting in bodily injury to the inmate. Sharp then allegedly lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during its investigation of the beating.

Two other former state corrections officials have been charged and convicted in connection with the inmate beating. Kevin Groom and Jason Giror have both been charged and pled guilty to falsifying records in a federal investigation and making false statements to the FBI. They await sentencing.

This matter was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert W. Piedrahita.

NOTE: A Bill of Information is an accusation by the United States. The defendant is presumed innocence unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.

Updated December 15, 2014