Marion County deputy sentenced to federal prison for beating inmate

A Marion County Sheriff’s Office detention deputy has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for assaulting an inmate.

Jorge Alberto Mateos, 26, of Noblesville, pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under color of law in December after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found he repeatedly beat an inmate at the Marion County Jail in September 2021.

Southern Indiana District Court Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt imposed the sentence. According to the order in Jorge Alberto Mateos v. USA, 1:21-cr-00371, the incident started when Mateos was on duty in the jail and ordered an unnamed inmate at the facility to remove his shoes several times.

After the inmate kicked off his shoes and sat in the corner of his cell, Mateos and other deputies entered the room and told the inmate something to the effect of, “When a deputy tells you to do something, you need to do it.” The inmate wasn’t supposed to have shoes as he was on suicide watch.

Mateos then struck the inmate in the face multiple times with a closed fist, during which time the inmate did not try to resist or fight back.

The deputy continued to strike the inmate after he fell to the ground. Other detention deputies attempted to deescalate the situation by “tapping Mateos on the shoulder to try and get him to disengage” before separating the inmate and Mateos and placing the inmate in handcuffs, according to court documents. After the inmate was handcuffed, Mateos struck the inmate several additional times.

As a result, the inmate sustained bodily injuries, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.

At the conclusion of the hearing on Friday, Mateos was taken into custody.

“Deputy sheriffs and detention deputies take an oath. So have I,” Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal said in a news release. “If you use unnecessary force against someone in your custody, you must be held accountable.”

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