United States Attorney Johnny Sutton announced that Emmanuel Cassio, a former corrections officer at the Val Verde County Detention Center in Del Rio, Texas, was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for violating the civil rights of a pre-trial detainee and obstructing the subsequent criminal investigation.

Appearing before United States District Judge Alia Ludlum yesterday afternoon, Cassio was sentenced to 10 months for Count 1 (Deprivation of Rights under Color of Law – 18 USC 242) and 6 months for violating Count 2 (Hindering Communication of Information Relating to Federal Offense – 18 USC 1512(b)(3)). Judge Ludlum ordered that both sentences be served consecutively. Judge Ludlum also ordered that Cassio pay a $3,000 fine and be placed under supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.

On April 30, 2008, Cassio pleaded guilty to the charges. Cassio admitted that on October 31, 2006, while working as a corrections officer at the Val Verde County Detention Center, he used unreasonable force when he repeatedly punched an inmate without provocation. Cassio agreed that his assault violated the inmate’s constitutional right to be free of unreasonable force by law enforcement officers. Additionally, Cassio admitted that he obstructed justice when he provided false information about the incident to investigators.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Brady and D.O.J. Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Jared Fishman


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