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GEO Val Verde Guard Sentenced in Prisoner Assault Case

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A GEO Group guard has been sentenced for repeatedly punching a prisoner in 2006, according to reporting from Karen Gleason at the Del Rio News ("Jail term for former jailer" November 14). The GEO guard, Emmanuel Cassio, who was 18 at the time of the crime, will serve 16 months for the crime. According to the article,

Cassio was employed as a jailer at the Val Verde Cunty Detention Center, which is operated by The GEO Group, a private company, under a contract with Val Verde County, from late April 2006 until he was fired in late November 2006, Val Verde County Detention Center Warden John Campbell told the Del Rio News-Herald in a previous interview.

Cassio pleaded guilty to the two charges on April 30, 2008.

“Cassio admitted that on Oct. 31, 2006, while working as a corrections officer at the Val Verde County Detention Center, he used unreasonable force when he repeatedly punched an inmate without provocation,” the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office noted.

“Cassio agreed that his assault violated the inmate’s constitutional right to be free of unreasonable force by law enforcement officers. Additionally, Cassio admitted that he obstructed justice when he provided false information about the incident to investigators,” the press release read.

Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office investigators, who initiated an investigation of the allegations against Cassio at the request of Campbell and Val Verde County Sheriff A. D’Wayne Jernigan, said Cassio walked into a cell and “struck an inmate with his fist.”

“The inmate then made a remark and the jailer returned and hit him again. This incident was witnessed by another jailer who reported it to jail administration. Warden Campbell immediately notified Sheriff Jernigan and requested an investigation,” said VVSO Lt. Larry Pope, head of the sheriff’s office criminal investigations division and who attended Wednesday’s sentencing of Cassio in federal court here.

GEO's Val Verde Detention Center has certainly not been without operational problems. The facility has been under a county monitor since a lawsuit was brought by a civil rights organization on behalf of the family of LeTisha Tapia, a detainee who committed suicide after reporting that she had been sexually assaulted and denied medical care. GEO settled both suits. In a separate 2005 suit, an employee reported that his superior displayed a hangman’s noose in his office and took pictures in his prison uniform donning KKK garb.

In 2007, the facility was again rattled after four inmates came down with a mysterious illness. Three of the inmates later died, but a state investigation could find nothing at the prison linking the prison to the illnesses.


that officer was just an idiot who let the offender still his cool. kudos to the one officer that reported it.  beat down on offenders, although some need it, is not tolerated in any type of prison or county jail enviroment.

wut alot of these "jailers'' tend to forget is that a prisoner is only a prisoner for so long, they do eventually have to let that inmate go....and i feel sorry for the jailer who runs into an inmate thaT WAS WRONGED.....FUCK THE PO PO!!