In a recent development, a former Maryland Correctional Officer, Owen Nesmith, has pleaded guilty to federal civil rights violations. The charges include three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and making a false statement, all related to his sexual contact with three victims who were incarcerated at the Maryland Correctional Institution Jessup. Nesmith, who was employed as a Correctional Officer Lieutenant, admitted to sexually assaulting the victims between 2005 and 2017. This case underscores the importance of addressing misconduct within the corrections system and ensuring the protection of individuals’ civil rights.
Former Maryland Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Federal Civil Rights Violations
The case involving former Maryland Correctional Officer Owen Nesmith has brought attention to the issue of civil rights violations within correctional facilities. Nesmith recently pleaded guilty to federal charges, including three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and making false statements. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the case, including the background information, guilty plea and charges, victims’ testimony, false statements made by Nesmith, other guilty pleas in the case, potential sentence, commendations and thanks, as well as contact information for further inquiries.
Guilty Plea and Charges
Former Correctional Officer Owen Nesmith has admitted to the charges against him, pleading guilty to three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and making false statements. Nesmith, who was employed as a Correctional Officer Lieutenant at the Maryland Correctional Institution Jessup (MCIJ), admitted to sexually assaulting three incarcerated individuals between 2005 and 2017. These actions represent a deprivation of the victims’ civil rights under the color of law. Additionally, Nesmith provided false statements when questioned by law enforcement about his inappropriate relationships and sexual contact with inmates.
The victims who were sexually assaulted by Nesmith have come forward to provide testimony. Victim 1, for instance, was followed back to his cell by Nesmith in February 2005. With no other inmates present, Nesmith coerced Victim 1 into performing a sexual act. Victim 1 did not consent to this act, and it constituted a deprivation of rights under color of law. Another victim, Victim 2, experienced assault in July 2015 when Nesmith offered to take him to the ID office. Along the way, Nesmith sexually assaulted Victim 2 and caused him pain and bodily injury. Victim 3, who needed Nesmith’s approval to obtain a job in sanitation, was sexually assaulted in December 2017 when he visited Nesmith’s office under the pretense of discussing job opportunities.
Nesmith provided false statements to law enforcement when questioned about his inappropriate relationships and sexual contact with inmates. This is a serious offense, as honesty is of utmost importance in the criminal justice system. Making false statements not only undermines the integrity of investigations but also obstructs justice. The consequences of providing false statements can include criminal charges and penalties.
Other Guilty Pleas
Nesmith is the last of 20 defendants charged with federal racketeering and related charges to plead guilty. Five other correctional officers/employees have previously pleaded guilty to their roles in a racketeering conspiracy. The involvement of multiple individuals highlights the significance of addressing corruption within correctional facilities and ensuring accountability for those involved.
Nesmith faces a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison for his charges, including deprivation of rights under color of law and making false statements. However, the final sentencing decision will depend on various factors. These factors may include the severity of the crimes committed, the impact on the victims, Nesmith’s criminal history, and any mitigating circumstances. The judge assigned to the case, U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis, will play a crucial role in determining the appropriate sentence.
Commendations and Thanks
The FBI and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services are recognized for their diligent work in investigating this case. The efforts of these agencies have been instrumental in bringing this matter to justice. Additionally, Assistant United States Attorneys Sean R. Delaney and Katelyn Semales are commended for their dedication in prosecuting the case. Collaboration between law enforcement agencies and prosecutors is essential in ensuring that individuals who violate civil rights are held accountable.
For media inquiries, please contact Marcia Lubin at (410) 209-4854. Additional information about the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and available community resources can be found on the official website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
For more information on similar cases and developments, browse through the related content on the official website of the District of Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office. This resource provides access to press releases, updates, and other relevant information pertaining to civil rights violations and related cases.
Office Locations and Contact Information
If you require further assistance or have specific inquiries, you can reach out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office at the following locations:
Main Office Address and Phone Number: 36 S. Charles Street 4th Fl. Baltimore, MD 21201 Phone: (410) 209-4800
Southern Division Address and Phone Number: 6406 Ivy Lane Suite 800 Greenbelt, MD 20770 Phone: (301) 344-4433
For updates, news, and additional resources, stay connected with the U.S. Attorney’s Office through their Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn accounts.