A federal court found two former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies guilty of beating, kicking and pepper spraying a mentally ill jail inmate in the largest county jail system in the United States, prosecutors said.
A United States District Court jury convicted Bryan Brunsting, 31, and Jason Branum, 35, of violating civil rights, deprivation of civil rights with bodily injury and falsification of records in the March 22, 2010 attack, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Brunsting and Branum are among 21 current or former members of the department to have been convicted of federal charges stemming from a long-running federal investigation of corruption at the country’s largest county jail system, federal prosecutors said.
Brunsting and Branum were accused of taking an unidentified mentally ill inmate into a hallway at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility and punching him, kicking him in the genitals and spraying him in the eyes with pepper spray after he “mouthed-off,” to a jail employee, prosecutors said.
Before the attack, Brunsting told a training deputy that they were going to “teach (the inmate) him a lesson,” according to prosecutors.
Brunsting, Branum and the training deputy were accused of coordinating to falsify their stories. The unidentified training deputy testified in court that he was told what to say and how to write his account of the incident, prosecutors said.
Brunsting and Branum face 40 years in federal prison when they are sentenced Aug. 22.
Brunsting faces civil rights charges in another use-of-force incident at the jail on Aug. 20, 2009. The case is scheduled to go on trial later in 2016.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)