Guard charged for beating teen inmate

Dec. 13, 2012 at 3:14 PM
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MIAMI, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- A guard at a Florida juvenile prison was arrested after she was caught on tape allegedly beating a 15-year-old inmate, officials said.

Shannon Linn Abbott, who works at the Milton Girls Juvenile Residential Facility in Northwest Florida, was arrested and charged with battery causing great bodily harm for the Aug. 9 incident, The Miami Herald reported.

Surveillance video captured Abbott, 33, slamming the teen face-first into a concrete wall, then throwing her on the floor, face down, and sitting on top of her for more than 10 minutes.

"The victim is not showing any signs of resisting. The victim is observed not pulling her arms away from the defendant; the victim is not attempting to strike the defendant in any manner and is compliant throughout the entire event," a police report stated.

Other employees at the facility are seen in the video walking in and out of the room where the incident took place.

Although she has not been fired, a Department of Juvenile Justice administrator asked that Abbott be restricted from access to all children.

"It is our expectation, at the very least, that this staff member will have no contact with youth in any of our programs," wrote Laura K. Moneyham, a DJJ assistant secretary.

The facility Abbott works at is under investigation, the Herald said.

"We are deeply concerned that the incident, as depicted in the video ... contradicts its description to us by officials representing the facility," Wansley Walters, DJJ secretary, said. "We are also troubled that the facility did not officially report the incident to DJJ until two days after it occurred, and only when the victim called the [Department of Children & Families] abuse hotline. This lapse is inexplicable."

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