LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A south Louisiana sheriff and one of his top lieutenants have been indicted on federal charges over the alleged beatings of five jail inmates.
Wednesday’s indictment says Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal directed officers to assault inmates in the parish jail’s chapel, where no video surveillance cameras would record the April 2011 beatings.
The indictment says Ackal and Gerald Savoy, a supervisor at the sheriff’s office, watched as officers used batons to beat an inmate who didn’t pose any threat.
Eight former employees of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office already have pleaded guilty to related federal charges.
Ackal and Savoy are charged with conspiracy and deprivation of rights under color of law. They didn’t immediately respond to a message left at the sheriff’s office Thursday.
The indictment says the beatings occurred during a “shakedown” at the jail on April 29, 2011.
Ackal told a narcotics agent employed by his office to “take care of” an inmate who made a lewd comment in the jail’s recreation yard, the indictment says.
During the string of beatings in the chapel, Savoy ordered a K-9 officer to make his dog bark at inmates to intimidate them, according to the indictment.
Ackal faces three counts in the indictment; Savoy is charged with two counts. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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