Tuesday, September 25, 2007
FORMER CORRECTIONS OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO LYING ABOUT ILEGAL ACTION VIOLATING CIVIL RIGHTS.
Defendant Was A Sergeant At Wade Correctional Center At The Time Of The Incident
SHREVEPORT—U.S. Attorney Donald W. Washington announced that Joe D. Levingston, a former corrections officer at David Wade Correctional Center in Homer, La., pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Tom Stagg to one count of making false statements to a federal agent in connection with the violation of an inmate’s civil rights.
U.S. Attorney Washington stated: “Most law enforcement officers are devoted to duty and strict adherence to the law. We expect and demand that officers of the law are custodians, not violators, of constitutional rights. Officer Levingston’s conduct in this matter was a horrific violation of the law deserving of the longest possible jail term.”
A Bill of Information was filed in August charging Levingston, age 52, of Homer, La., with one count of making false statements to a federal agent while employed as a Sergeant at Wade Correctional Center. Levingston was questioned by FBI agents about allegations that he had violated the civil rights of an inmate by forcing him to perform oral sex through a cell door. During the investigation, Levingston falsely denied the allegations.
Sentencing for Levingston has been set for Dec. 11, 2007 at 2:30 p.m.
Levingston faces a sentence of up to 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Sentencing in federal court is determined by the discretion of federal judges and the governing statute. Parole has been abolished in the federal system.
This case was investigated by the FBI, Shreveport Resident Agency, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Mignonne Griffing and Trial Attorney Kathleen Monaghan of the Civil Rights Division.