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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Jury indicts Rensselaer County corrections officer for beating inmate

Jury indicts Rensselaer County corrections officer for beating inmate

By James V. Franco
The Record

Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010

ALBANY— A Grand Jury indicted a Rensselaer County corrections officer for beating an inmate under his supervision and lying to the FBI about the incident, according to a statement by Richard Hartunian, U.S. Attorney for the North District of New York.

Ken Hancock, 37, of Cohoes, allegedly “knowingly and willfully physically struck and assaulted an inmate” of the county jail on Jan. 18, 2009 depriving him of his right “not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

Sources say the incident was caught on video tape.

But, when questioned about the incident, Hancock “willfully made a materially false statement to the FBI.” Hancock told the FBI, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, that “he had heard through the grapevine that he punched someone, but that it did not happen, and that he was threatened by the inmate walking down the hallway and did what he had to do to protect himself.”

Hancock could spend up to 10 years for violating the prisoner’s civil rights and/or a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine for lying to the FBI.

Sheriff Jack Mahar was unavailable for comment Wednesday. It is unclear if Hancock was working after the alleged incident or if he was suspended.

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