Iberia Parish Sheriff Facing New Indictment

     NEW ORLEANS (CN) – Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal and two of his deputies were slapped with federal charges Thursday related to beatings at the Iberia Parish jail in Louisiana.
     Prosecutors says the 2014 beatings meted out to two inmates were carried out in retaliation for the men having battered a relative of the sheriff.
     Ackal, Lt. Col. Gerald Savoy and former Captain Mark Frederick were charged in a superseding indictment with civil rights violations arising out of the beatings of two men, the Justice Department said.
     In March Ackal and Savoy were indicted on separate allegations that stemmed from overseeing the April 29, 2011 beatings of five pre-trial Iberia Parish Jail detainees in the jail’s chapel.
     That indictment said the chapel was used because Ackal and Savoy identified it as the only room in the jail that did not have surveillance cameras.
     The March, 2016 indictment came a week following guilty pleas and closed-court proceedings from eight other jail employees.
     Thursday’s indictment charges Ackal with one count of conspiracy against the rights of one of the battered inmates. Frederick and Savoy were charged with one count of depravation of rights under color of law for allegedly assaulting another man, a pre-trial detainee at the Iberia Parish Jail in September of 2011.
     Ackal is accused of calling a meeting between himself, Savoy and narcotics agents Benjamin Lassalle and Benjamin Hines to arrange the arrest of an individual who assaulted his relative.
     Hines and Savoy arrested the individual, pinned him to the floor and beat him with a baton, according to court documents.
     During the inmate’s first week in jail, Ackal allegedly ordered the inmate brought to him. Once in Ackal’s office, Savoy allegedly twisted the inmate’s arm behind his back while Ackal yelled: “You want to fuck with my family?”
     The March indictment that accused Ackal and Savoy of beating pre-trial detainees in the chapel of the Iberia Parish Jail said Ackal had instructed Lasalle to “take care of” a detainee who had made a lewd comment on the jail yard.
     That inmate and four others were beaten with a baton. One of the inmates was allegedly in jail for a sex offense. Upon realizing it was a sex offense, Lassalle allegedly took his baton, held it between his own legs as if it were a penis, and forced it into [that inmate’s] mouth, causing [him] to choke,” according to the indictment.
     Nine former Iberia Parish Sheriff Office employees previously entered guilty pleas in similar cases. Most recently, K9 Sgt. Jeremy Hatley pleaded guilty to lying to an FBI agent during an investigation into the beatings.
     Ackal, Savoy and Frederick could face 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count if found guilty.

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