The Justice Department today announced that defendant Christopher Loring, a former officer at the Richwood Correctional Center, pleaded guilty in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to cover up the physical assault of five inmates by officers. Loring, 36, of West Monroe, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to conspiring with other officers to falsify documents with intent to obstruct and influence the investigation of a matter within federal jurisdiction. Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana David C. Joseph made the announcement.
“The blatant abuse of power and the obstruction of civil rights will not be tolerated by the Department,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to protect the victims of these abuses and prosecute those who violate their civil rights.”
“Abuse of prisoners is illegal and tarnishes the reputation of those correctional officers who work hard every day to perform their duties with distinction and professionalism,” U.S. Attorney Joseph stated. “To maintain the fairness and integrity of the American justice system, my office will hold accountable any who violate the civil rights of those under their custody.”
According to his guilty plea, Loring worked as a correctional officer at the Richwood Correctional Center in Richwood, Louisiana, where on Oct. 30, 2016 he and other officers abused inmates and then conspired to cover it up. According to Mr. Loring, he failed to intervene when the other officers sprayed a chemical agent directly in the faces and eyes of five inmates while the inmates were handcuffed, compliant, kneeling on the floor, and not posing a physical threat to anyone. Following that abuse, Mr. Loring and the other officers conspired to hide their conduct by submitting false reports.
Roderick Douglas, a former supervisor at the Richwood Correctional Center, pleaded guilty in federal court on Jan. 31 for his role in the conspiracy to violate the civil rights of five inmates. Sentencing for Douglas is scheduled for June 5, 2019.
The count of conviction carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a criminal fine of up to $250,000. Mr. Loring is scheduled to be sentenced on July 3, 2019 by U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana, who accepted the plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Mudrick of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Louisiana, and Trial Attorney Anita Channapati of the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section, prosecuted the case. The Monroe Division of the FBI investigated the case.