Former Tennessee correctional officer sentenced for assault of inmate

Johnathan York sentenced for involvement in assault of inmate, striking approximately 30 times
.(Atit Phetmuangtong / EyeEm | Getty Images/EyeEm)
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 7:32 PM EDT|Updated: May. 3, 2021 at 7:46 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Johnathan York, a former Tennessee correctional officer, was sentenced for his involvement in a staff assault of an inmate Friday, according to a United States Department of Justice release. He was sentenced to two years in prison and two years of supervised release, according to the DOJ statement.

“This sentencing should be a reminder that wearing a badge does not make one above the law,” Acting Special Agent in Charge Matthew Foster of the FBI Memphis Field Office said.

Johnathan York was a Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) Officer at the Northwest County Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tennessee, the release said. York is the second of six former TDOC officers to be sentenced, according to the release.

All six officers pleaded guilty to the federal offenses that stemmed from the assault and cover up of the assault of R.T., an inmate in the mental health unit, the release said.

According to the release, York and the other officers entered the cell of R.T. Inside the cell, York instructed a fellow officer to cover the surveillance camera and physically assaulted R.T, striking him approximately 30 times, the DOJ statement said. Two other officers also assaulted R.T. while York stood by and watched and they later conspired to tell a false story about the incident, according to the release.

“The defendant was held accountable for abusing his power and for violating the public’s trust in him as a correctional officer,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan said.

York originally pleaded guilty on June 9, 2020.

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