Ex-prisoner transport officer pleads guilty to sexual assualt

Rogeric Hankins, an employee of a private contractor to the federal government, pled guilty to raping a prisoner

By Jeff Lehr
The Joplin Globe, Mo.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A former prisoner transport officer pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to violating a detainee's civil rights by sexually assaulting her at a stop in Joplin.

Rogeric Hankins, 37, pleaded guilty to the offense in U.S. District Court in Springfield and was released on a recognizance bond pending a sentencing hearing that has yet to be set.

Hankins was working as a prisoner transport officer for Inmate Services Corp., a private contractor with the federal government, on March 31, 2020, when he and a second transport officer picked up a pretrial detainee in Olympia, Washington, to take her to the Ramsey County Jail in St. Paul, Minnesota, where a federal warrant for drug-related offenses had been issued for her arrest.

The officers drove a van through several states, picking up and dropping off several male inmates along the way, before reaching Minnesota, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Springfield. By the early morning hours of April 3, 2020, when they stopped at a gas station in Joplin, the woman was the only detainee left in their van.

Hankins escorted her inside the station to use the women's restroom. When she came out, he led her into the men's room and ordered her into the stall farthest from the door, the U.S. attorney's office said in a news release.

Once he got her in the stall, he started pulling up her shirt and she tried to resist. He told her to be quiet, made her perform a sexual act on him and then raped her, according to information contained in the plea agreement filed Tuesday in court.

Hankins faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for the conviction.


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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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