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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Former Head Nurse at Rockbridge Regional Jail Convicted of Falsifying Documents

Lynchburg, VIRGINIA – Gary Hassler, the former head nurse at Rockbridge Regional Jail, was sentenced yesterday to 12 months and one-day in prison for falsifying documents in order to impede a federal investigation into civil rights abuses at the facility, First Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar announced.

“This prison sentence should send a strong reminder that those in a position of public trust must provide accurate information and there are consequences for interfering with a federal investigation,” First Assistant Bubar said. “The FBI, Virginia State Police, and Office of the Rockbridge County Commonwealth’s Attorney should be commended for their hard work in bringing this case to justice.”

Hassler, 59, of Buena Vista, Va., was indicted in August 2018 and charged with two counts of falsifying documents in order to impede a federal investigation. At trial in July 2019, a jury convicted Hassler of one count of impeding a federal investigation into civil rights violations at the Rockbridge Regional Jail by falsifying a document. Evidence at trial showed that on March 5, 2017, Hassler falsified a document to claim an inmate at the jail refused medical care.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia State Police. The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office for Rockbridge County assisted with the investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Zachary T. Lee and Matthew Miller prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated October 31, 2019