Area jailer sentenced to federal prison for unprovoked attack on inmate

Published 11:13 am Wednesday, September 9, 2020

BEAUMONT — An area jailer was sentenced to prison, authorities said, the result of an unprovoked assault on an inmate that took place three years ago in Beaumont under the observation of a supervisor.

“When an officer acts like a schoolyard bully, it undermines the important work of all correctional officers and disrupts the very law and order they have sworn to protect,” U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox said in a Wednesday morning release.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield sentenced 35-year-old Tavoris Bottley to 18 months in federal prison, followed by one year of supervised release.

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Authorities did not immediately provide how much of the sentence Bottley may have already served or his city of residence.

Bottley previously pleaded guilty Dec. 5 to one count of violating the civil rights of an inmate in his custody at the Federal Correctional Complex in Beaumont, 4550 Hebert Road.

According to plea documents and information presented in court, on June 8, 2017, while on duty as a federal correctional officer Bottley punched A.A, an inmate, in the face and head multiple times without justification.

Bottley admitted he and his supervisor, 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 he then punched A.A., even though A.A. did not pose any threat at the time.

Ford pleaded guilty 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.

Ford was sentenced Jan. 8 to 24 months in prison.

Bottley had faced a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison for the civil rights violation, 20 years in prison for the obstruction offense and a fine of up to $250,000 for each charge.

Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division said the Justice Department is committed to prosecuting correctional officers who use their position of authority to harm others, “as opposed to upholding the duties of their job and protecting the individuals in their care.”