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Ex-jailer admits stunning prisoners

Nov. 16, 2011 at 9:20 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- A former jailer in Tuscaloosa, Ala., pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges she used a stun gun to punish three prisoners.

Former Tuscaloosa Sheriff's Sgt. Althea Mallisham, 52, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Birmingham to three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon while acting under color of law for wrongfully using a Taser during three separate incidents over a four-month period in 2008, the U.S. Justice Department said in a release.

Mallisham admitted she shocked three different pre-trial detainees while they were either in handcuffs or securely locked in a cell. The detainees did not pose a physical threat to any officers or other detainees when they were electro-shocked, prosecutors said.

"This correction officer deliberately inflicted significant pain on those entrusted to her care for no legitimate law enforcement purpose," said Thomas E. Perez, an assistant attorney general for civil rights.

Mallisham is to be sentenced March 15. She faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, for each count.

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