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Latino Daily News

Friday April 22, 2011

Former Texas Correctional Officer Sentenced on Conviction Arising from Inmate Beating, Cover-up

Former Texas Correctional Officer Sentenced on Conviction Arising from Inmate Beating, Cover-up

Photo: Beaten inmate, Aldana's family in 2009

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A former Bexar County Sherriff’s Office Deputy was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia to 27 months in prison for depriving a man, Jimmy Aldana III, of his constitutional right to be free from excessive force and for obstructing justice, the Department of Justice announced today.  Daniel Melgoza was also sentenced to two years supervised release and a $200 special assessment.

Melgoza, 54, of San Antonio, Texas, was convicted by a jury in San Antonio on Dec. 16, 2010.  Evidence at trial showed that on Dec. 8, 2004, Melgoza kicked a compliant Aldana in the head several times with pointed cowboy boots.  The evidence also showed that Melgoza wrote false reports to conceal his misconduct. 

“Correctional officers are entrusted with a great deal of power in order to carry out their critical public safety duties. But they must not be permitted to abuse that power by violating the rights of inmates under their supervision,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez.  “ We will not hesitate to prosecute officers who cross the line and injure those they are sworn to protect.”

The investigation was conducted by FBI Special Agent Mirella Rodriguez.  Civil Rights Division Trial Attorneys Roy Conn and Christopher Lomax prosecuted this case for the United States.