Ex-Valdosta prison guard pleads guilty to violating inmate's rights

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VALDOSTA — A former Valdosta State Prison guard pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge stemming from beating an inmate, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Jamal Scott, 33, entered a guilty plea to violating the civil rights of an inmate during a Dec. 29, 2018, incident, a justice department statement said.

On that date at Valdosta State Prison, authorities claim Sgt. Patrick Sharpe ordered Scott, officer Brian Ford and other officers not indicted to assault a handcuffed inmate named only as “F.G.” after the inmate had an altercation with a female guard, the indictment claims.

“F.G.” was handcuffed and compliant at the time of the assault, the statement said.

Ford pleaded guilty on Nov. 9 to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law for his role in this incident. Scott and co-defendant Sharpe were indicted in a four-count indictment on Dec. 11, 2020.

Scott faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

“Damaging repercussions are felt across our community and beyond whenever a sworn officer violates the civil rights of a person in their charge,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary for the Middle District of Georgia.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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