Former jail guards guilty in inmate attack on teenager

COVINGTON, Ky. — Two former guards at the Grant County jail accused of allowing a teenage inmate to be sexually assaulted there were found guilty yesterday of conspiring to violate the teen’s civil rights.

The federal jury returned the verdict against Wesley Lanham, 30, of Dry Ridge, and Shawn Freeman, 35, of Irvine, yesterday.

The trial began Monday, and the case went to the jury yesterday afternoon.

The two face life in prison when they are sentenced Dec. 8.

Prosecutors argued that Lanham and Freeman showed deliberate indifference when they did nothing to prevent the young man from being transferred to a cell with 14 convicted felons, where he was assaulted in February 2003.

The teen was in jail overnight for trying to outrun a state trooper who caught him speeding.

Defense lawyers had argued that Lanham and Freeman were scapegoats, saying they were among the lowest-ranking guards on duty the night of the attack and were just following orders.

Freeman’s attorney, Randy Blankenship, said the men didn’t lock the teen in the cell with the convicts.

That was done by Clinton Shawn Sydnor, the sergeant on duty. Sydnor avoided trial by agreeing to testify against Freeman and Lanham in exchange for prosecutors recommending a 15-year sentence.

Lanham took the stand Wednesday and denied that he told inmates to harm the teen. He testified that he only asked an inmate to talk to the young man about making the right choices in life.

Freeman also testified Wednesday, saying he didn’t hear Lanham tell anyone to harm the teen.

The victim, who was 18 at the time of the attack, testified Tuesday that he thought he was going to be killed before the attack and that he was denied medical care afterward.


3 Responses

  1. WHAT? i know shawn freeman, i work with him at the Irvine Fire Dept. and there is no way he would let this happen, he saves ppl, not harm then

  2. they made a huge mistake,i grew up with the freemans and they would never harm anyone the are good people.

  3. Shawn Freeman is my blood and I know he would never ever allow anything like that to happen! He saves people and protects people. He and Lanham were setup. I love him and believe in him.

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