Former Federal Correctional Officer Sentenced for Inmate Sexual Abuse

Former Federal Correctional Officer Sentenced for Inmate Sexual Abuse

A former federal correctional officer has been sentenced to three months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. The initial three months of supervised release will involve home detention. This sentencing is a result of the officer’s sexual abuse of an inmate who was in federal custody.

Additionally, the officer will be required to pay a $1,000 fine, a $5,000 assessment under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, and a $100 special monetary assessment. Furthermore, they must register as a sex offender and adhere to all conditions imposed on sex offenders.

According to court documents, Lenton Jerome Hatten, 54, from Tallahassee, Florida, engaged in multiple instances of sexual misconduct with an inmate while working as a sports specialist at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee between October 2021 and August 2022.

After the incident was reported, a sexual assault nurse examiner conducted a forensic examination on the victim. DNA evidence confirmed a likely connection between Hatten and the victim.

At the time of the report, Hatten was on vacation leave. Upon becoming aware of the allegations, he resigned from his position, thereby ceasing any further contact with inmates.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco stated, “This prosecution underscores the commitment of the Department of Justice to eradicate sexual misconduct within the Bureau of Prisons. Any employee of the BOP who misuses their authority and mistreats those under their custody will be held answerable.”

Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz emphasized, “No inmate should ever be subjected to sexual abuse or any form of mistreatment by a Bureau of Prisons employee. My office will relentlessly seek justice for victims of such egregious acts.”

FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate asserted, “Without exception, every individual, including those serving prison sentences, deserves physical safety and protection of their civil rights. The defendant in this case repeatedly exploited an inmate in their care.

Thanks to the courage of the victim in coming forward, future abuse was prevented. This case illustrates the FBI’s commitment to investigating all violators of federal law, regardless of their position, and holding those responsible to the highest standards.”

U.S. Attorney Jason Coody for the Northern District of Florida remarked, “The mistreatment of any inmate by correctional officers is unacceptable. Imprisonment is intended to address the inmate’s criminal behavior while providing educational and vocational opportunities for rehabilitation.

The dignity and safety of the inmate do not vanish upon entering the prison. Our office will vigorously prosecute any officer who breaches their duty by mistreating inmates entrusted to their care.”

The case was investigated by the DOJ-OIG and the FBI.

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