Prison guard charged with punching 86-year-old inmate
LANCASTER, Mass. (AP) — A guard at a maximum-security state prison in Massachusetts has been charged with punching an 86-year-old inmate in the face.
The Worcester district attorney’s office says 35-year-old correctional officer Joseph Sampson struck the inmate three times at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster on Dec. 20.
Sampson has been charged with assault and battery on a person over 60.
Sampson’s attorney, Kenneth Anderson, says his client acknowledges striking the inmate but says the prisoner was trying to bite him and spitting at him.
Anderson says his client feels his actions were “consistent with DOC (Department of Correction) policies and his training.”
The department says Sampson has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Authorities have not publicly named the inmate.