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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Third Former State Corrections Official Pleads Guilty To Civil Rights Violation

BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Walt Green and Acting Assistant United States Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels announced today that a third former state corrections official has pled guilty to 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 pled guilty to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242, and one count of making a false statement to the FBI, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.

SHARP’s charges were based on his conduct while employed as a captain at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola. According to the factual basis filed in connection with his guilty plea, on January 24, 2010, SHARP joined in a search to apprehend an inmate who had escaped from his assigned location. After the inmate was captured, SHARP and two other officers – Kevin Groom and C.B. -- were ordered to escort the inmate, who was handcuffed behind his back, to the prison’s medical unit. The three officers got into the bed of a truck with the inmate. SHARP admitted that, during the drive to the medical unit, he repeatedly struck the inmate with an asp baton. SHARP also saw C.B. kick the inmate in his head and shoulder area. SHARP then lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the federal civil rights 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 Giroir have both been charged and pled guilty to falsifying records in a federal investigation and making false statements to the FBI. They await sentencing.

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.

This matter is being handled by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney AeJean (Angie) Cha of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant United States Attorney Robert W. Piedrahita.

Updated December 15, 2014