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Press Release

Former Federal Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty To Sexual Abuse Of An Inmate

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Lenton Jerome Hatten, 54, of Tallahassee, Florida, plead guilty to a one count indictment charging him with sexual abuse of an individual in federal custody. Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the guilty plea.

Court documents reflect that between October 2021, and August 2022, Hatten engaged in repeated sexual acts with an inmate while employed as a sports specialist for the Bureau of Prisons at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee. Immediately after being reported, a forensic examination was conducted of the victim by a sexual assault nurse examiner. A mixed DNA profile was obtained, which confirmed the profile was 33 octillion (3.3 x 1028) times more likely to be from the victim and Hatten than the victim and an unknown, unrelated person.

At the time of the report, Hatten was on vacation leave and when made aware, he resigned his position. As such, Hatten had no further contact with inmates.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 10, 2023, at 1:00 p.m., at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee, Florida, before the Honorable United States Senior District Judge Robert L. Hinkle.

Hatten faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison, 5 years to Life on supervised release, and a maximum $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James A. McCain.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida, visit


United States Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida
(850) 216-3845
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Updated May 26, 2023