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Press Release

Two corrections officers charged with violating a prisoner’s civil rights

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

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Two correctional officers from United States Penitentiary Hazelton have been charged with civil rights violations involving the assault of a prisoner.

Robert David Sims, 40, of Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, and Joshua David Sines, 38, of Friendsville, Maryland, were each charged with one count of deprivation of rights and one count of assault with serious bodily injury. According to the indictment, Sims and Sines, while employed by USP Hazelton in Preston County, struck an inmate in the face, head, arms, and torso, causing significant injuries. 

If convicted, Sims and Sines each face up to 20 years in prison for the civil rights charge and up to 10 years for the assault charge. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Flower is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Updated December 1, 2023

Civil Rights