Ex-prison supervisor pleads guilty to violating civil rights

May 20, 2021 GMT

VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) — A former supervisor at a south Georgia prison has pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of two prisoners in two incidents in 2018.

Federal prosecutors say Patrick Sharpe, who was a correctional officer at Valdosta State Prison, was escorting a prisoner across prison grounds in September 2018 when he wrapped a pair of handcuffs around the man’s fist and punched the man twice in the face and once in the back of his head. The man briefly lost consciousness and suffered cuts to his face and head, prosecutors said.

While working as a supervisory correctional officer in December 2018, Sharpe instructed other officers to assault a handcuffed inmate, prosecutors said. Two of those officers, Jamal Scott and Brian Ford, have both pleaded guilty to federal charges related to this assault.

Both incidents were retaliation for earlier interactions between the prisoners and female officers, prosecutors said. In both cases, the prisoners were restrained and compliant.

Sharpe, 30, pleaded guilty Wednesday. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he’s sentenced at a later date.