- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - An Iowa man has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in federal prison for assaulting a corrections officer in southern Arizona.

Federal prosecutors say 41-year-old Howard James Sawyer of Iowa City received a 139-month prison term Thursday in U.S. District Court in Tucson.

Sawyer had previously pleaded guilty in the case.

Prosecutors say Sawyer was incarcerated in the federal penitentiary in Tucson after a conviction for failure to register as a sex offender.

When informed that his request for a housing reassignment was denied, authorities say Sawyer became angry and punched a corrections officer in one of his eyes on Feb. 2, 2015.

Authorities say the officer suffered permanent vision impairment.

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