Former Iberia Parish Sergeant pleads guilty to assault of a deta - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Former Iberia Parish Sergeant pleads guilty to assault of a detainee

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File photo courtesy of the Advocate File photo courtesy of the Advocate

A former Sergeant in the K-9 Unit of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office (IPSO), pleaded guilty today to assaulting a pre-trial detainee at the Iberia Parish Jail by commanding his K-9 to bite the detainee, and by striking the detainee, all without justification, according to attorneys for the Western District of Louisiana.

According to the charges and other information presented in court, 38-year-old David Prejean of Lafayette was a K-9 Sergeant on the IMPACT Unit, a specialized unit at IPSO.

Prejean admitted to the following information according to court records.

On Dec. 6, 2012, Prejean was called to the Iberia Parish Jail to assist with a shakedown. During the course of the shakedown, an inmate turned to look at Prejean after being told not to, at which point Prejean threw the inmate to the ground and then commanded his dog to bite the inmate. Prejean also struck the inmate several times, despite the fact that the inmate had complied with Prejean’s commands and did not pose a threat to anyone in the recreation yard. Prejean allowed the dog to bite the inmate for several seconds before pulling him off.

Prejean’s unlawful use of force resulted in injury to the inmate. Following the assault, Prejean wrote a false report designed to cover up his unjustified use of force.

“Every person in the United States, including those who are incarcerated, is protected by the U.S. Constitution,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “When the officers we expect to uphold the rights enshrined in the Constitution willfully violate them, the Justice Department will aggressively prosecute those officers and uphold the rule of law.”

 Prejean will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Dee D. Drell, on May 18 in Alexandria, Louisiana.

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