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Press Release

Inmate At USP Canaan Charged With Assaulting Other Inmates And Staff

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

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Kurt Downs, age 28, an inmate at the United States Penitentiary at Canaan, was indicted by a federal grand jury for assaulting two other inmates and assaulting correctional officers in the performance of their duties.  

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that Downs assaulted another inmate on February 15, 2018, resulting in serious bodily injury to the victim. The indictment further alleges that Downs assaulted another inmate on March 11, 2018, and assaulted, resisted, and impeded corrections officers in the performance of their duties in responding to the assault of the inmate.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Prisons special investigations staff. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 27 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated July 24, 2018

Violent Crime