Beaumont, Texas - Tavoris Bottley, 34, a former Senior Correctional Officer at the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) in Beaumont, Texas, pleaded guilty in court Thursday to assaulting a federal inmate housed at the facility.
According to documents filed in connection with the guilty plea, on June 8, 2017, Bottley, while on duty as a federal correctional officer at FCC Beaumont, punched A.A, an inmate, in the face and head multiple times without justification. Bottley admitted that he and his supervisor, Lieutenant Khristal Ford, intentionally unlocked and entered the secured cell where A.A. was being held with the intention of assaulting the inmate for being disrespectful and throwing a food tray. Bottley admitted that he then punched A.A., even though the inmate did not pose any threat at the time.
Khristal Ford previously pleaded guilty on May 29, 2019, to aiding and abetting in the assault of A.A., and admitted to submitting written reports that omitted any reference to the assault in an effort to cover up the incident and make it appear justified.
“This conduct by a federal correctional officer erodes public trust,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to vigorously prosecute those who violate the civil rights of inmates.”
“Correctional officers have an obligation to be professional” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown of the Eastern District of Texas. “Unprovoked violence not only violates the rights of the inmate, but hurts the reputations of law enforcement professionals who do things the right way.”
“When Bottley assaulted this inmate, he violated the inmate’s civil rights and he betrayed the oath of office he swore to uphold when he became a federal Corrections Officer,” said Robert A. Bourbon, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Dallas Field Office.
Bottley faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was investigated by the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Katherine G. DeVar of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Anderson of the Eastern District of Texas.