Former deputy sentenced to prison for assaulting handcuffed inmate

A former Indiana deputy was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

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After pleading guilty to assaulting a handcuffed inmate, a former Indiana deputy was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

On September 9, 2021, Jorge Mateos, a Detention Deputy at the Marion County Jail, ordered an inmate on suicide watch to remove his jail-issued shoes. After the inmate kicked off his shoes and sat in the corner of his cell, Deputy Mateos entered the cell and told the inmate something to the effect of, “When a deputy tells you to do something, you need to do it.”

Although the inmate did not try to resist or fight back, Mateos repeatedly punched him in the face. Mateos continued to strike the inmate after he fell to the ground.

According to court documents, another deputy attempted to intervene by tapping Mateos on the shoulder to try and get him to disengage. Mateos briefly walked away, while the other deputies placed the inmate in handcuffs.

After the inmate was handcuffed, Mateos returned to the cell and struck the inmate several additional times. As a result, the inmate sustained bodily injuries.

Mateos falsely stated to investigators that the inmate had punched him first. He also denied striking the inmate after the other deputies placed him in handcuffs.

In December 2021, Mateos pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under color of law. On Friday, Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt sentenced him to 18 months in federal prison, one year of supervised release, and a $1,000 fine.

“Former Deputy Mateos abused his authority as a law enforcement officer and betrayed the public’s trust when he violently assaulted an inmate in his custody,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a press release. “Law enforcement officials who commit violent assaults inside our jails and prisons are not above the law, and we will continue to vigorously prosecute those who commit civil rights violations.”

“Law enforcement officers who violate their oaths and choose to assault persons in their custody will be held accountable,” stated U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers. “Former Deputy Mateos chose to repeatedly attack an inmate who offered no resistance, an assault that continued even after the inmate was handcuffed. These crimes dishonor our profession and erode trust in the honorable law enforcement officers who risk their lives to keep the community safe.”

“There is no acceptable level of abuse of power,” noted FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “The vast majority of law enforcement officers are professional, well-trained and honor the oath they took to protect and serve the community. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold accountable those who violate that oath and the civil rights of those they are sworn to protect.”

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