INDIANAPOLIS – Jorge Alberto Mateos, 26, of Noblesville, Indiana, a former detention deputy with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in Indianapolis, was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison for assaulting an inmate. Mateos had previously pleaded guilty to a felony civil rights offense for his unreasonable use of force against an inmate in his care.
According to court documents, on the evening of September 9, 2021, Mateos was on duty as a Detention Deputy at the Marion County Jail. During the shift, deputies ordered an inmate at the facility to remove his jail-issued shoes. The inmate kicked off his shoes and sat in the corner of his cell. In response, Mateos entered the cell and told the inmate something to the effect of, “When a deputy tells you to do something, you need to do it.” Mateos then struck the inmate in the face multiple times, during which time the inmate did not try to resist or fight back. Mateos continued to strike the inmate after he fell to the ground. According to court documents, other detention deputies attempted to deescalate the situation, separated the inmate and Mateos, and placed the inmate in handcuffs. After the inmate was handcuffed, Mateos struck the inmate several additional times. As a result, the inmate sustained bodily injuries.
“Law enforcement officers who violate their oaths and choose to assault persons in their custody will be held accountable,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Former Deputy Mateos chose to repeatedly attack an inmate who offered no resistance, an assault that continued even after the inmate was handcuffed. These crimes dishonor our profession and erode trust in the honorable law enforcement officers who risk their lives to keep the community safe. Abuses of the public trust are a special category of wrongs to be righted. The sentence imposed today demonstrates that this office, the Department of Justice, and our law enforcement partners will prioritize holding these offenders accountable.”
“Former Deputy Mateos abused his authority as a law enforcement officer and betrayed the public’s trust when he violently assaulted an inmate in his custody,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke. “Law enforcement officials who commit violent assaults inside our jails and prisons are not above the law, and we will continue to vigorously prosecute those who commit civil rights violations.”
“There is no acceptable level of abuse of power. The vast majority of law enforcement officers are professional, well-trained and honor the oath they took to protect and serve the community,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold accountable those who violate that oath and the civil rights of those they are sworn to protect.”
Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal stated “deputy sheriffs and detention deputies take an oath. So have I. If you use unnecessary force against someone in your custody, you must be held accountable.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office provide valuable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt. As part of the sentence, Judge Pratt ordered that the defendant be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 1 year following his release from prison. Judge Pratt also ordered that the defendant remanded to begin serving his sentence immediately. At the conclusion of the hearing, Mateos was taken into the custody of the United States Marshal.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bradley P. Shepard and Kelsey L. Massa, and Trial Attorney Katherine G. DeVar of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, who prosecuted the case.
Individuals who believe they may have been a victim of a civil rights violation can learn how to report violations to the Department by visiting the Civil Rights Reporting Portal located at civilrights.justice.gov.
Individuals who believe they are the victim of a criminal violation of their civil rights, such as misconduct by law enforcement officers, a hate crime, or human trafficking, should contact their local FBI office.