Statement from U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins on the Acquittal of Seth Bourget and Joseph Lavorato

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“While we respect the jury’s decision, today’s verdict will not deter us from bringing these difficult cases. We believe that the allegations warranted the government’s investigation and charges.

Carrying a badge comes with enormous responsibility and obligations to not only enforce and abide by the law, but to respect the civil rights of people in your custody and care.  That includes people in carceral facilities, many of whom are plagued with significant mental health issues, like the victim in this case.

This U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to vigorously investigate and when appropriate, prosecute allegations of civil rights violations. That also must be the case when the allegations are against Bureau of Prisons employees, who are themselves part of the Department of Justice system. 

Our mission is not about winning or losing trials, but about pursuing justice. It is my hope that the light that was shed on these defendants’ conduct, and the undeniable physical harm caused to the victim, will result in positive improvements in our system.”


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