- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 17, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Three former Arkansas juvenile detention officers have pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conspiring to assault at least four juvenile inmates.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2pUaPWa ) reports that 26-year-old Will Ray, 47-year-old Thomas Farris and 42-year-old Jason Benton entered their pleas Tuesday in U.S. District Court. The three men were indicted earlier this month.

Investigators say the assaults took place at the White River Juvenile Detention Center in Batesville between 2012 and 2013.

The men are accused of pepper spraying, choking, shoving and grabbing teenagers at the center.

Acting U.S. Attorney Patrick Harris says none of the juveniles posed a physical threat to anyone at the time they were allegedly assaulted.

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